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History

Past 2 Present: a snapshot of Melbourne's history

Such a simple idea that provides such an incisive look at Melbourne's history. Today's article is a shout-out to the increasing popular Past 2 Present which provides an impressive glimpse into Melbourne's past by comparing it to the present. Covering metropolitan Melbourne, Past 2 Present generates a side by side compilation of dated and current images from the past two centuries. Buildings, significant places, infrastructure and day to day...

Melbourne: How you've changed in 70 years - but for the better?

A website has surfaced in recent weeks which compares the Melbourne of today to that of 1945. The stark differences can be viewed at Melbourne 1945 which provides contrasting aerial imagery using Department of Crown Lands and Survey photography mashed with current Mapbox capabilities. Recently highlighted in The Age, Melbourne 1945 provides a tangible resource that charts Melbourne's immense growth over a sustained period. While providing a...
Photograph taken at end of a Saturday working day, 12:20 pm in 1927.

Flinders Street Station: Melbourne's most popular iconic landmark

Flinders Street Station occupies the equivalent of two city blocks, occupying the site bordered by Flinders Street to the north and the Yarra River to the south. The site extends from Swanston Street on its eastern ground level border all the way to Queen Street in the west. The first train station on the current Flinders Street Station site was called Melbourne Terminus. The original station was comprised of a collection of weatherboard sheds...

Tiger loses its tail!

A small piece of Melbourne's history will begin disappearing in the days and weeks to come as Melbourne Airport's water tower continues to be engulfed by scaffolding and mesh in preparation for demolition. A pronounced structure viewed by hundreds of millions of travellers yet never at the forefront of anyone's thoughts, the tower has stood the test of time since it began appearing on the horizon during 1969 as evidenced by the Melbourne Airport...
The New Opera House (Tivoli Theatre) shortly after its opening in 1901. Original raw photograph from The State Library of Victoria, restored by me.

The Titillating Tivoli Theatre

249 Bourke Street. 1901 William Pitt. Before the Tivoli Theatre was built, the site it stood on what was home to a business consisting of a timber yard and stables in the mid 19 th Century. In the 1860's the Australian and New York Letting and Livery Stables replaced the older business and interestingly the business also included a hall on the upper level. During 1866 the hall was known as The Varieties and then later as the Opera Comique; the...
One penny token, minted in 1862. Issued by Fenwick Brothers, Importers & Clothiers. It features Observatory House and the Flagstaff in Flagstaff Gardens.

Melbourne Traders Tokens - History in your palm

Melbourne in the late 1840s through to the 1860s was affected by a coinage crisis. The crisis mainly related to a shortage of small change in circulation. At this time, British coinage was in use, however not enough coins were being supplied for Melbourne’s booming population and economy. Out of necessity, savvy entrepreneurial businesses of the day began issuing trade tokens. These tokens, which were mainly made of copper, were most often the...

Former Royal Melbourne Mint - A rich history

280-318 William Street (south east-corner of William and Latrobe Streets) 1871-1872 John James Clarke Commenced in 1871 and completed in 1872, on the site of the first Melbourne Exhibition Building, the former Royal Mint is considered one of the finest renaissance revival buildings in Australia. Design work by JJ Clarke of the administration building, which remains today, began in 1869 when Victoria was given permission by the Royal British Mint...

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...

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...

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...

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Development & Planning

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 05:00
409 St Kilda Road is being positioned as Melbourne's most elite address. In a recent media blitz, Devitt Property Group unveiled their intentions for the prime site which currently houses an exhausted-looking 14 level office building. In its place will rise a similarly-sized residential building that Devitt Property Group expect will become Melbourne's most prestigious address on Melbourne's most recognisable boulevard.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 12:00
Spring Street on Sunday unveiled its package of rental reforms that will see a variety of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (1997). The state government has branded the reforms 'Rent Fair Victoria' and set up a website outlining the changes.

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.

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Transport & Design

Monday, October 16, 2017 - 12:00
Comment Upon reading about Newmark Capital's intention to redevelop South Yarra's Jam Factory, my first thought was 'gee South Yarra station's going to be busy'. Busier than it currently is in peaks, mind you. The headline numbers are quite impressive: an end-value of $1.25 billion and 100,000 square metres of mixed-use space.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 05:00
City of Melbourne intentions for a reimagined University Square are now available for viewing. The significant piece of public space at 190-192 Pelham Street is in line to receive a total makeover, bringing the green landscape into a 21st century.