Originally built in 1888 the tall brick tower was used to create shot pellets. Such structures were not uncommon during the era as the process of creating the little lead balls involved letting droplets of molten metal fall the length of the tower into pools of water that would flash form them into their spherical shape. During its heyday, Coopâ€™s tower could produce around six tons of shot a week.
Rather than letting the old spire crumble, in 1991 a giant cone of black steel and glass was built over the tower, completely enclosing it. A museum regarding the history of both the tower itself and the history of Melbourne in general was opened inside the building. The museum has been kept remarkably well updated with new technologies such as gesture-controlled displays being installed in the historic tower.0