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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

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 08:00
Ballarat's station precinct is set to be transformed, following last week's announcement that the Pellicano Group has been awarded the rights to develop a new conference centre and hotel facility.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 09:00
The New Urban Agenda was officially adopted in Quito, Ecuador in the last plenary of the Habitat III conference. The agenda provides a 20-year “roadmap” to guide sustainable urban development globally. The text of the New Urban Agenda itself was agreed well before Habitat III at the UN General Assembly in September, during an extraordinary informal negotiation session that lasted for more than 30 hours.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”.

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Transport & Design

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 12:00
Melbourne’s tram network may hold the key to providing the dense network of high frequency rapid transport that would provide world class connectivity in the inner-city and CBD. Melbourne and New York are very different cities. Drawing too close a parallel between any two cities can be a folly; however New York and Melbourne share some near similarities where it counts.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 12:00
Timber mid-rise buildings are becoming the preferred choice for many stakeholders in Melbourne, due to a combination of factors, including cost-effectiveness, liveability, ease and efficiency of construction. Within the recent National Construction Code change, Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions allow mid-rise timber construction for buildings up to 25 metres “effective height” (typically, eight storeys).