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The Museum of Victoria

Peter Maltezos's picture

Text from Walking Melbourne

The National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne

The Museum of Victoria

Carlton Gardens


Following nearly 40 years of debate, it was finally decided to move the Museum out of the State Library building, and to build in the car park to the north of the Royal Exhibition Building. Denton Corker Marshall won an international competition, and the striking building was finally completed in 2000. The proposal involved restoring the northern face of the Exhibition Building, and creating a plaza in between. Controversy dogged the project, particularly the huge central ‘blade’ roof, which now shelters a miniature forest. It is a most dramatic feature of a building that combines a regular grid with irregular volumes and shapes, bright colours, and impressive spaces, which won the Victorian Architecture Medal in 2001.


Below, four postcards of The Museum of Victoria.


The Big Box.


Interior showing  a Blue Whale skeleton.


Milarri Garden located in the north-east side of the museum.


An aerial highlighting the ‘blade’ which shelters the mini forest.


Below, one of my own photographs.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

History of The Museum of Victoria

The National Museum of Victoria was founded in 1854 and The Industrial and Technological Museum opened in 1871. These two museums were amalgamated in 1983 to become The Museum of Victoria.

From 1915 to 1991 both museums occupied the complex of buildings on Swanston Street along with The State Library of Victoria and The National Gallery of Victoria.

In 1854 The National Museum was located at The University of Melbourne and was relocated in 1899 to join the Library and Gallery in the Swanston Street buildings with a separate entrance in Russell Street.

In 1992 the applied science and technological collections moved to Spotswood and named Scienceworks.

In 2000 the new Museum Victoria opened at the Carlton Gardens.


Interior of the first museum at The University of Melbourne ~ 1873.


The Russell Street entrance of the second museum. The building was built in 1906 replacing an old wooden structure.


Interior of second museum, McCoy Hall ~ 1911.



The Daryl Jackson designed Melbourne Museum proposal by the Yarra.

The beginnings of this building were incorporated into The Melbourne Exhibition Centre.


Scienceworks with old Spotswood Pumping Station in the foreground opened in 1992, Spotswood.

I collect, therefore I am.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


A few more recent photographs of mine.


I collect, therefore I am.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

A Museum for the People

Carolyn Rasmussen

Scribe Publications

First published in 2001


In print


Marking almost 150 years since the founding of Melbourne’s first public museum, A Museum for the People maps the triumphs and travails of Victoria’s state museums.

The book follows the changes in the institutions’ collecting and exhibition philosophies, and tells a fascinating story of how Australians – through their museums – have viewed themselves and the world around them.


The definitive book on Melbourne’s museums.

I collect, therefore I am.

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From The Age


The Commonwealth Games flying tram, now in storage, photographed by me.

Treasure House of history to shed light on millions of museum's secrets

Chee Chee Leung

March 8, 2008


To the passer-by it looks like any nondescript factory block. But behind an industrial inner-city facade lies a secret store of treasures.


Throughout this northern suburbs block are shelves of exotic stuffed animals, precious fossils, and even whitegoods of yesteryear.


The "flying tram" from Melbourne's Commonwealth Games calls this place home for now, as does Granny Helen's kitchen from TV soap Neighbours.

I collect, therefore I am.

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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.


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.