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Peter Maltezos's picture

A couple of Edwardian postcards of Flinders Lane.

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Bourke Street

The Place To Spend Money

From The Streets of Melbourne, from early photographs

 

”Give me old Melbourne and give me my girl,

And I will be simply all right,

Does anyone know of a better old place,

Than Bourke Street on Saturday Night?”

 

So went the words of a pre-1914 song about Bourke Street, Melbourne’s entertainment and leisure street for almost 150 years. If Collins Street was the place to make money, then Bourke Street was the place to spend it. It offered theatres, pubs, coffee houses, street stalls, and the excitement of the Eastern Market, particularly on a Saturday night. Perhaps the character of Bourke Street is best summed up by author Marcus Clarke who wrote about it in 1868 for The Argus:

“The pavement is crowded with persons, all strolling quietly on as though it was a public parade. What Collins Street is from three to six, so is Bourke Street from nine to twelve, with this difference, that respectability is at a discount in the latter. It is the seamy side of Collin Street. In the gutter a purple-faced man, with sodden eyes and unsteady gait, gasps forth the last notes of a ballad, and an intinerant ‘seller of songs’ a little higher up the street, is screeching in humorous conjunction the titles of some of the ‘noo and fav’rite’ melodies. The coffee vendors have already erected their stalls, while the man with the telescope who shows Saturn’s rings for a penny and describes Jupiter’s moons for a glass of gin, is putting up his machine. Dirty and draggle-tailed women begin to appear at the end of right-of-ways and the popular music halls have just vomited forth a crew of drunken soldiers, prostitutes and thieves. There is a masquerade at one of the casinos and the brass band at the window of the Waxworks Exhibition is vigorously playing the ‘Last Rose of Summer’. Cabs commence to draw up against the doors of the refreshment places.”

 

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Elizabeth Street ~ 1900s.

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Two Edwardian postcards showing the west-end of Collins Street ~ 1900s.

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Edwardian postcard of Flinders Street, opposite Flinders Street Station under construction ~ 1900s.

The first two buildings on the right are still standing. smiley

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Peter Maltezos's picture

A couple of great old postcards of Russell Street, enjoy! smiley

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To my mind, Melbourne is the queen city of the south; Africa, South America and Oceania cannot boast a city as beautiful as this.

Fernando Villaamil 1893

Spring Street, featuring the Grand Hotel (now Windsor) ~ 1900s.

 

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Collins Street near the Queen Street intersection, looking east in the 1950s.

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Postcard from the 1960s.

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CML building at the north-west corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets in November 1959.

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The Regent Theatre and the now demolished Wentworth House in January 1964.

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1970s Postcard of Bourke Street at night.

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A photograph I took back in 1982 of Bourke Street. smiley

When the orange Z class trams ruled.

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Collins Street, looking east from the Queen Street corner ~ 1950s.

Completed in 1929 the APA (L&G) tower on the right dominated the Melbourne skyline for around 30 years. Built on top of one of the former Prell's Buildings that had all ornamentation stripped, the landmark art deco tower with a classical temple motif was reminiscent of deco towers of Chicago and New York of the same period. The APA (L&G) building was Melbourne's tallest until 1958.

How it was before the tower was added:

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Elizabeth Street in November 1963 showing the now demolished Elizabeth Motors building on the left, where Melbourne Central is now.

From the books: Trams and Streetscapes, and More Trams and Streetscapes, Metropolitan Melbourne 1950s-1960s Emile D. Badawy and John Sargent Train Hobby Publications

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Looking east down Bourke Street from Queen Street ~ 1900s.

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The now demolished Yarra Family Hotel at the north-west corner of Flinders and William Streets, December 1959.

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Flinders Street (Spencer Street end), showing the former Fish markets, Cool Stores and Corporation Market Offices built in 1890.

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The scene behind the Chief Telegraph Office in Little Bourke Street ~ 1910s.

It seems that infrastructure of one type or another has been spanning this section of Little Bourke Street for awhile.

 

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Bourke Street near the Elizabeth Street intersection, May 1961. The old State Savings Bank of Victoria headquarters is featured at the south-west corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Streets.

From the books: Trams and Streetscapes, and More Trams and Streetscapes, Metropolitan Melbourne 1950s-1960s

Emile D. Badawy and John Sargent Train Hobby Publications

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Interesting front end on that W Class there. Were many of them modernised like this?

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^^ Not W class, but the PCC class tram, the only one of its class, built in 1950 and withdrawn from service in 1971.

 

The Royal Mail Hotel, south-east corner of Bourke and Swanston Streets ~1930s.

 

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Swanston Street lit up for Melbourne’s Centenary celebrations in 1934.

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Melbourne has gained many arcades over the years and lost many as well.

One that we lost, Queen’s Arcade above, facing Collins Street and below, one of the shops inside.

The arcade was demolished to make way for The City Square.

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Little Collins Street  in 1949, looking east near Queen Street intersection.

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Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

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Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.