History articles

An early Melbourne high-rise

An early Melbourne high-rise

By Dr Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria Looking at this streetscape today, the 11-storey building that dominates the left side (the south side) of this early 1950s photograph of Bourke St raises no eyebrows.  It is the Commonwealth Bank Building at 219-225 Bourke St and in its day it was something of

A winter’s walk in Fitzroy Gardens, 1913

By Dr Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria It’s a stark but beautiful winter scene in one of Melbourne’s oldest parks, a landscape laid bare. The skeletal elm trees stand like proud sculptures extending skywards, their shadows creating faint stripes of light and shade along the pathway in the silvery sunlight.  This is

Making way for thoroughly modern Melbourne

By Dr Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) This photograph, taken in about 1924, represents a time capsule of Melbourne as it was just after World War One.  The city was on the cusp of a building revival as a society recovering from the devastating effects of war looked towards its future

Dining in style at Spencer Street Station

By Dr Cheryl Griffin Spencer Street Station (now Southern Cross Station) has been the first port of call for country and interstate train travellers since the 1850s.  In the 1920s, when this photograph was taken, it more or less represented the western edge of the CBD. Collins St and Bourke St ended at Spencer St

“A dizzying wave of colour”

By Dr. Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria, It is difficult to imagine from the distance of almost 120 years, but for a short time in 1901 Melbourne became a city or arches built to commemorate the creation of Australia. On January 1, 1901 Australia became a nation and Melbourne its capital city

Christmas time in the city, 1930

By Dr. Cheryl Griffin, Royal Historical Society of Victoria The Myer Emporium expanded to Lonsdale St in the 1920s at a time when this section of Little Bourke St was known as Post Office Place.  Only a few years earlier you would have seen horse-drawn traffic dominating the street scene, but by 1930, when this

“Doing the Block” in Collins St

By Cheryl Griffin, Royal Historical Society of Victoria From the 1860s to the 1930s, Melburnians who wanted to be seen (and admired), donned their finest clothes and headed for that fashionable part of town – Collins St – to take part in a ritual known as “doing the Block.”  This quickly became part of Melbourne’s

The Old Melbourne Cemetery at QVM

By Cheryl Griffin  Royal Historical Society of Victoria It seems impossible to believe now, but Melbourne’s main cemetery was once located on the site of the iconic Queen Victoria Market (QVM), mostly under what is now the market’s car park.  In 1837 it relocated from a very small burial ground on Flagstaff Hill (in today’s

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