History articles

Perhaps a book for Christmas?

Perhaps a book for Christmas?

By Richard Broome, Royal Historical Society of Victoria In November-December the RHSV is gearing up for Christmas.  Our bookshop offers many fascinating books on Victorian history which are available online through www.historyvictoria.org.au or by direct purchase from our premises at 239 A’Beckett St. On offer will be many books from the recent Victorian Community History

Fink’s Buildings

By Kate Prinsley When built in 1888, at a cost of 110,000(pounds), Fink’s Building was one of Melbourne’s tallest office blocks.  Designed by noted Melbourne architects Twentyman and Askew (also responsible for the Block Arcade), the building epitomises the speculative early 1890s period. It was built by and named after the notorious land financier Benjamin

Finding ghosts and inspiration in Chinatown

By Tristan Davies, Melbourne Heritage Action It’s mid-afternoon in Melbourne and I’m surrounded by the familiar heritage buildings in Chinatown, though without much time to appreciate them. In a rush on the way to a workout before an appointment, I decide to take a shortcut via Brein Lane, which leads from Little Bourke St into

Yarra Turning Basin, 1906

This elevated view, looking west along the Yarra River and Flinders St, taken from the Commercial Travellers’ Club (now the Rendezvous Hotel), shows (left to right): Banana Alley (beneath the railway yards), the railway viaduct (connecting Flinders St and Spencer St stations), Queens Bridge with the Yarra Turning Basin beyond.  The Turning Basin (also known

Equitable Building 

The Equitable Building (also known as the Colonial Mutual Life Building), was for many years after its completion in 1896 the benchmark of commercial architecture in Melbourne.  It was built for the Equitable Life Assurance Society of America and sold to CML in 1923. Designed by American architect, Edward Raht, it was built on a

Fish Market c. 1890

Between 1865 and 1892, the Melbourne Fish Market occupied the Flinders and Swanston streets south- west corner. It was of white brick and stucco with a large central chamber 16m high surrounded by 14 slate slabbed stalls, fountains for washing fish, an arcade and room for carts to enter at auction time. The building housed

Marvellous Collins St

Collins St has been Melbourne’s best-known and most fashionable street since the 1840s.  Part of the Melbourne grid plan drawn up by Robert Hoddle in 1837, it was named after Lieutenant -Governor David Collins, leader of the unsuccessful 1803 Sorrento settlement. It contains much of the city’s best and most beautiful commercial architecture. The first

The west end of Collins St, mid 1970's

The Olderfleet Building of Collins St

This photograph is taken in the early to mid-1970s, at the west end of Collins St, near King St. The older buildings, on the south side of the street, are from left to right – The Olderfleet, Records Chambers and New Zealand Chambers buildings. In the background is the multi storey National Mutual commercial building,

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