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Old June 28th, 2005, 12:26 AM   #1
comingsoon
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Melbourne Buildings you wish hadn't been demolished.

Progress is good and Melbourne wouldn't have many of the great modern buildings it has today it "some" hadn't been demolished in the past.

That said I think most would agree that developers got carried away in the 70s/80s and that short-sightedness during this period saw the destruction of many buildings that would be treasured if they remained today.

Here's my Top 10 in no particular order. If there are any buildings you passionately feel shouldn't have been lost, feel free to post. (I would have liked to have added pics but I don't seem to be permitted).

My Lost Melbourne Top 10

1. Federal Coffee Palace Hotel, Collins St. Big, grand, and should still be around. So what if it fell into disrepair.

2. Fish Market, Flinders St. Words fail me why this staggeringly beautiful building was demolished. Perfect book end to Flinders St Station. And the only really intersting old building in this part of town.

3. Hotel Australia, Collins St. Not much to look at on the outside but the interior contained a large deco dining room/ballroom and cinema. Eisenhower stayed here during WW2 apparently.

4. Tivoli Theatre, Bourke St. Have never seen a picture of this but from what I've heard it was one of Melbourne's best.

5. Melba Cinema/Theatre, Bourke St (opposite Tivoli). Really cool looking building.

6. Howey House, Collins St. One of Melbourne's finest Deco buildings where the architecturally average Sportsgirl Centre now is.

7. Southern Cross Hotel, Russell/Bourke Sts. Criminal loss of Melbourne's only significant 60's modern building of its type.

8. Original Capitol Theatre entrance, Capitol Theatre, Swanston St. Originally the foyer to the Capitol was where the bland shopping arcade now stands. Designed by Walter Burley, it mirrored his amazing cinema interior and came with the most stunning looking ticket-booth I've ever seen.

9. Menzies Hotel, William St. Arguably grander than the Windsor. IMO definitely a far more elegant building. Anyone know why/how this treasure was lost?

10. APA Skyscraper Building, Elizabeth St. There's a pic of this very tall-for-its-time building in another thread and just seeing it makes me want to weep. Fantastic building that was flippantly demolished because of fire regulations.

Special mention goes to the entire city block on the corner of Collins and Swanston, where Queens Walk arcade, a deco buliding and several Victorian buildings stood. It's ironic that the Melb council allowed this whole block to be demolished to create a city square in the 70s. Then 25 years later after they realised it hadn't worked, they allow a new hotel to be built on the same site.

Last edited by comingsoon; June 28th, 2005 at 05:26 AM.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 12:47 AM   #2
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Fish Markets is a very sad loss


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Old June 28th, 2005, 01:22 AM   #3
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yes melbourne has had many bldgs regretably razed from existence.
the ones that make me want to cry are-
Fed coff pal


Finks Bldg (1888) first 10storey in Australia


APA Building


Equitable Life Assurance of uSA



Fire Tower, St Patricks lane
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Old June 28th, 2005, 03:51 AM   #4
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Howey House still exists......
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Old June 28th, 2005, 05:16 AM   #5
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Howey House as in the deco building where Sportsgirl Centre now is was sadly demolished. They saved the lifts, or part of them I think, but that's it.

Aussie Steve: thanks for posting the interior Fish Market shot, never seen the inside of it before.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 07:34 AM   #6
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If you are referring to Howey Court, then yes that did get demolished some time ago, but Howey House (which is what I thought you were talking about), also a deco-style building is still firmly wedged between Kodak House and the Sportsgirl Centre.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 09:05 AM   #7
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Howey House is on the right of this pic, alive and well!



These two buldings in the centr of this pic stood where the Sportgirl Centre now stands and were no great loss (the building on the far right was not demolished, just stripped of it's detailing sometime over the past 40 years):


Also the Sportgirl Centre is probably the finest example in Australia of a post modern inner city shopping centre. It was built to a very high standard, especially the interior which is fabulous. Take a closer look some time it's definately not just another boring late 80's building. Over time it will become a much loved heritage building like Howey House :-).
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Old June 28th, 2005, 09:08 AM   #8
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Very lucky that this proposal was never built:
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Old June 28th, 2005, 09:13 AM   #9
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Tivoli Theatre which was destroyed by a fire in 1967:

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Old June 28th, 2005, 09:15 AM   #10
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Melba Theatre was not that exciting:


The building next door was more interesting and Coles Book Arcade was a greater loss.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #11
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Where buildings have been lost it would be nice if there was some sort of 'memorial' to them. There are a number of display boards in the CBD showing what was there. If you go round the back of CE's City Point building (by the car park entrance Little Bourke) they've put up some nice plaques showing the history of the site, an example which could be followed elsewhere.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 01:26 PM   #12
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The Equitable Life Assurance building has a memorial of sorts - there are bits of it outside the museum:
http://www.museum.vic.gov.au/colonial/index.asp
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Old June 28th, 2005, 10:06 PM   #13
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Shooter: my mistake, I meant Howey Court, not House. Doh.

Originally we had the Manchester Unity Buiilding on the corner, another tall deco building immediately next to it, then Howey Court. All tall deco buildings, together forming a nice wall of forties-ness. Shame to lose one of them.

While I've never seen a close-up pic of Howey Court, going by some postcards I've seen it was a classy and quite unusual looking deco building. I'd like to find out who the architect was.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 10:08 PM   #14
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Grollo: thanks for posting the pics. You're right, the Melba wasn't "so" great. And the Tivoli doesn't look "that" interesting either.

What was the Coles Book Arcade? Haven't heard about that one before. It'd be interesting to know exactly how many Melbourne arcades have been lost over the years. I know of 2, Victoria Walk on Collins and Eastern Arcade on Bourke (now the Allans Building).
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Old June 29th, 2005, 02:04 AM   #15
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You are right comingsoon, Howey Court was on the site of the Sportsgirl centre:



Although I don't think it was demolished specifically for the construction of the current sportsgirl centre, I have a feeling it was demolished earlier than that.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 02:40 AM   #16
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It was demolished for the Sportsgirl Centre.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 02:53 AM   #17
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Well, this top ten most missed pops up every couple of years.
This was last comprehensively covered with a poll in the Walking Melbourne (much missed) website.
Anyway here is my top fifteen.
I’ve judged buildings and clusters of buildings on not just their architectural merit, but on their impact on the streetscape as well.


1) The Fish Market on Flinders Street.
It was the perfect bookend for Flinders Street Station.


2) The Australian Building (APA) on Elizabeth Street.
An engineering marvel and once one of the tallest buildings in the world.


3) The Federal Coffee Palace on Collins Street.
Over the top boom-style architecture.
Melbourne telling the world we have money and lots of it.


4) The Finks Building on Flinders Street.


5) The APA (L&G) Building on Collins Street.


6) The cluster of buildings on the eastern side of the south-end of Queen Street.


7) The cluster of buildings along the northern side of the west-end of Collins Street.


8) The Eastern Market on Bourke Street.


9) The CML (Equitable Life Assurance) building on Collins Street.


10) The Queen Victoria Buildings on the corner of Swanston and Collins Streets opposite the Town Hall.


11) The building on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Streets opposite the GPO (don’t know the name of this one).


12) The Champion Hotel on Swanston Street.


13) The cluster of coffee palaces and theatres in the east-end of Bourke Street.


14) The Southern Cross Hotel on Bourke Street.


15) The Menzies Hotel on Bourke Street.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 03:28 AM   #18
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The three nearly identical Prell buildings in Queen Street looked awesome on the skyline:

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Old June 29th, 2005, 04:00 AM   #19
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Colonial Mutual Chambers:


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Old June 29th, 2005, 04:07 AM   #20
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not sure if anyone knows about this one, but it was one of the highest in 1888. It was 7storeys and 125ft to mansard roof/cupola. It was located on Collins near cnr Eliz known as Modern permanent building society


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