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Lonsdale Street, Collector's Melbourne

6890 9
Lonsdale Street, Marvellous Melbourne

Photographs taken over the past three years.

From east-end to west-end


Above and below, Wunderkammer’s chamber of wonders, 439 Lonsdale Street, one of my favourite shops in the city. Imagine walking into a museum and finding that everything is for sale. :)

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Look at what used to stand on Lonsdale Street.

Opposite the QV complex now, John Black’s Tattersall’s Horse Repository took up much of the south side of Lonsdale Street between Swanston and Russell Streets.
This engraving of 1853 shows the structure, occupying 66 by 360 feet.
The repository had carriage stands, stalls, loose boxes accommodating 200 horses, blacksmiths’ forges, veterinary stalls and harness rooms.
It was written that the whole establishment ‘impresses every visitor with wonder and admiration’.
The structure was considerably altered in 1858 to become the American Hippodrome circus and concert hall.
In 1860 it was changed to the Prince of Wales Theatre and in 1863 to the Lyceum, Theatre.
Today the area is occupied mainly by small Greek shops and restaurants.
Text from Melbourne Architecture
Philip Goad

Mitchell House
352-362 Lonsdale Street
1936 Harry Norris

The commercial equivalent of Burnham Beeches, Mitchell House is Harry Norris’s finest central city design in the streamlined Moderne style.
With its prominent corner siting and off-centre vertical frame to emphasise its curved corner, and its curlicued Art Deco wrought-iron gates, Mitchell House is an exemplar for devotees of the Moderne. Norris was a prolific designer of 1920s and 1930s commercial buildings such as the Nicholas Building (1926-27), and Majorca House (1928-29).

Three of my own shots below.

Text from Melbourne Architecture
Philip Goad

Queen Victoria Women’s Centre
172-254 Lonsdale Street

The block bounded by Swanston, Lonsdale, Russell and Little Lonsdale Streets once housed the Melbourne Hospital which had been established on the site in 1846. Just one of three pavilions of the innovative hospital complex remains today. The Edwardian Baroque complex was taken over in 1946 by the Queen Victoria Hospital, which was staffed and managed by women for women. The existing structure is the most elaborate bay of the hospital, designed as a series of pavilions with a long central corridor.

Below, a couple of old postcards showing the old hospital, and after that two of my own photographs showing the existing Queen Victoria Women’s Centre.

Text from Melbourne Architecture

St. Francis Church
North-east corner Lonsdale Street and Elizabeth Streets
1841-45, 1849 Samuel Jackson; 1856 George & Schneider; 1878 Reed & Barnes

Though altered and extended, this is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Victoria and has been in continuous service since the early 1840s. The main vessel of the church, the nave, with wooden shingles on the roof, was built first. The cement-rendered walls of the exterior are modeled in the manner of the late 18th century Georgian Gothick idiom practiced in Engand before the Gothic Revival proper set in after the 1830s, a movement pioneered by the Catholic architectural radical AWN Pugin. The first additions to Jackson’s simple nave were designed by David Ross: a porch (1855, demolished) and a Lady Chapel (1858). Interenally, the chapel is in the manner of Pugin, with the decoration carried out by claimed pupils of his, Le Gould & Souter. Externally, however, the idiom was never achieved and the extensions of the porch, the Lady Chapel, the sanctuary (1878) and a recent narthex (1956) follow the cement rendering of the earliest part of the church. In 1988-89, the church was repaired and restored by the conservation architects Allom Lovell & Associates and Kosinova Thorne as well as Falkinger Andronas P/L (1990-97).

Two of my own shots below.

Crown Law Offices and Law Courts, then.


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