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Former Brunton Chambers (later Altson’s Corner)

Peter Maltezos's picture

From Walking Melbourne

The National Trust Guide to The Historic and Architectural Landmarks of Central Melbourne.

Former Brunton Chambers (later Altson’s Corner)

298 – 304 Collins Street, north-east corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets


Designed by Nahum Barnet and built in two stages in 1904 and 1908, this lively Edwardian design, with its corner turret, features Art Nouveau ornamentation – the flowing tendrils under the balconies, and the balcony railings themselves. The turret, corner bay windows, and cornice were all removed in the 1950s, and reinstated as part of conversion to apartments in 2000 under the guidance of conservation architect Nigel Lewis.


A couple of old turn of last century shots below, and two recent shots of mine after that.


Stage 1.


Stage 2 with extension along Collins Street.


From Elizabeth Street

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Peter Maltezos's picture

B H Altson Tobacconist, on the north-east corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets ~ 1890s.

This was the original building that housed B H Alton's tobacco business, and according to the family, was the first brick building in Melbourne. It was replaced by Brunton Chambers in 1904.

The photograph below shows the window display of B H Altson Pty ltd Tobacconists in the Brunton Chambers building ~ 1950s. 'BH' stands for the owner's initials, Barnett Hyman. 'BH' as he was known by his family, came to Australia in 1870 from Yorkshire. He set up the tobacconist on the corner of 300 Collins & Elizabeth Street. This shop was referred to as 'No 1 Melbourne', because it was originally owned by John Batman and was then later bought by Altson. 

One can understand why Brunton Chambers is sometimes referred to as Altson's Corner.

I collect, therefore I am.

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