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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, June 28, 2017 - 06:15
A litmus test beckons for Reservoir as the suburb's largest apartment release becomes reality. The Plenty Residences at 830 Plenty Road has progressed to marketing, with the release of the first stage of the project's 347 dwellings across the site which sits atop the Summerhill Village Precinct.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 12:00
Two important stories which traverse both transport and housing topic areas were highlighted on Urban Melbourne this week. The news that the medium and high-density components of Williams Landing will ramp up highlight what some might gloss over but what I think is the correct 'order' of doing things: the rail station is built first, developers then piggyback off the new infrastructure second.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 07:00
Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations. Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.

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Transport & Design

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 12:00
South Yarra’s latest development is about to strike a blow for excellent and inclusive urban realm design...and not before time. As far back as 2014 and 2015 , Urban Melbourne has highlighted the runaway success of South Yarra's Forrest Hill urban renewal precinct.

Sustainability & Environment

Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 12:00
Two of City of Melbourne's key urban design initiatives are in the starters gates, with Lord Major Robert Doyle yesterday providing further information on the pair. As of next month, the long-awaited upgrade to the southern end of Elizabeth Street will begin.