Weekend reads from the Internet

Trucks chaos threat to city , Adam Carey, The Age How did Melbourne's 'laneway culture' come about? Alan Davies, Crikey. - One should make it a weekly habit of reading Alan's blog, the best from this week. Melbourne's best breakfasts - Top 10 , Anna Spargo-Ryan, The Guardian - What's everyone's thoughts on that list? I haven't visited any of them - plug for the best of my locals, Fine and Dandy Food Stuffs , I'm not a coffee drinker, but the...

The Royal Arcade - A Golden Oldie

331-339 Bourke Street 1869-1870 Charles Webb (original north-south Bourke to Lt Collins Street arcade) 1902-1923 Hyndman and Bates (east-west Elizabeth Street addition) 2002-2004 Allom Lovell & Associates (restoration) The Royal Arcade was the second shopping arcade built in Melbourne with the first being the Queen’s Arcade , which was built in 1853. The Queen’s Arcade did not last long and was demolished long ago, leaving The Royal Arcade...

Astor Radio Melbourne

Most keen collectors and lovers of antiques will be familiar with iconic Australian Made valve radios, produced in Australia between the late 1930’s and early 1950’s. In a time before television, a radio receiver was the household entertainment staple, and as they all essentially served an identical function, the market was driven by inserting very similar electrics into an incredible variety of beautifully sculpted, incredibly detailed and in...

The incredible Cole's Book Arcade

299 Bourke Street (second store and current street number) opened in 1883 Collins Street extension in 1906 Closed in 1929 Edward William Cole opened his first book arcade near the former Eastern Market in 1873. On the 27 January 1883 he opened his famous second store on the site of the current David Jones Men’s Store, on what is now called the Bourke Street Mall . With around two million books on its shelves, the extraordinary Cole’s Book Arcade...


The magnificence of the Royal Exhibition Building's internals were on show for all to see, that is if you like exceptional beer. The grand building hosted the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular over the weekend, an event which brings 92 uniquely brewed beers from around the world together in this exceptional venue. Running over three days, the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular afforded those who attended the change to peruse its magnificent...

State Library of Victoria - a cultural icon

304–328 Swanston Street, Melbourne 1854-1856 Joseph Reed; 1870 Reed and Barnes; 1906–11 Bates, Peebles and Smart; 1951 Percy Everett, Public Works Department; 1990-98 Ancher, Mortlock and Woolley The decision to build a state library for Victoria was made in 1853 by Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe and Mr Justice Redmond Barry. An architectural competition was held and a local architect, Joseph Reed was declared the winner with his...

The Melbourne versus Sydney debate isn't boring: it's useful

Annie Stevens, writing in Fairfax's Daily Life, wrote a piece last Friday (3/5/13) titled "Melbourne versus Sydney debate is boring" and went on to highlight how it's the stereotypes which fuel this debate to the point of boredom. I agree - however to come straight to my point: if we didn't have this boring and mundane debate, we'd have no competition between the cities - not a good outcome! When cities and their respective citizens, business...

Shrine of Remembrance

St. Kilda Road, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne Built 1927-34 Designed by Hudson and Wardrop World War 2 Memorial Forecourt Built 1950-54 Designed by Ernest E. Milston Undercroft redevelopment Built 2002-03 Designed by Ashton Raggat McDougall (ARM) . The Shrine of Remembrance , arguably Melbourne’s most important iconic public monument, which is located in Kings Domain , St Kilda Road, was originally built as a memorial to the men and women who...

Allens Sweets Southbank

I think it’s fair to say that the increasing majority of Melburnians would struggle to remember any other Southbank than the familiar setting in place today. A great success story in urban renewal, the plethora of arts, entertainment, office space and high rise apartments that are present today, are in the place of what was once a highly industrial area, south of the Melbourne CBD on the banks of the Yarra. Plans for redevelopment were...

1934-35 Centenary of Victoria and Melbourne

The joint V ictorian and Melbourne Centenary celebrations were held between October 1934 and June 1935. They celebrated progress and community cohesion at a time when the world, including Australia, was in the midst of a severe economic depression. In 1934, the centenary firstly commemorated Edward Henty’s Portland settlement in November 1834, which led to the founding of Victoria. While in 1935, the focus of the Melbourne Centenary celebrations...


Development & Planning

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 00:00
As reported in The Age late last month speculation is growing that developer Cbus Property is leading the charge to acquire a combined development site at 140-150 Queen Street and 27 McKillop Street. This would follow what would appear to be a pre-emptive purchase of a neighbouring site at 423 Bourke Street, which an 11-storey office block currently occupies.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 13:00
The Victorian Government has announced it will ban the use of aluminium cladding panels that have a polyethylene core of more than 30% and expanded polystyrene will also be banned on buildings with 3 or more levels. The changes were announced by the Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, on Saturday morning along with new guidelines for building surveyors.

Visual Melbourne

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 12:00
The various spaces and elements which combine to form RMIT's New Academic Street (NAS) have progressively begun to open to students and visitors alike. I was recently fortunate enough to be part of an informal group tour through the completed spaces within NAS, led by Harrison and White which had a hand in the project.

Transport & Design

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 17:00
Comment There's much to admire about Rodney Maddock's advocacy piece in The Conversation - ' Our growing big cities need new centres of employment - here's Melbourne's chance ' - the three projects he advocates for have been in the public domain for quite a while now.

Sustainability & Environment