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Melbourne SAeldom Seen Oldies (Pt2)

2282 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  The Collector
From Miles Lewis's 'Melbourne; The City's History and Development' (City of Melbourne, 1995):

How slim was our Yarra, 152 years ago?

Not seldom seen, but always worth repeating

That's it, Bronte
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I didn't think the Australia Building was destroyed by fire. I thought it was deemed a fire hazard and that's why it was pulled down.
Ditto reply to versions 1.
Bronteboy, I think you have mixed up the Fink's Building with the Australian Building.
Well done anyway! :)
Great photos: the GPO caption doesn't fit the photo - the street is too steep for Bourke/Elizabeth St.

What building is it?
Thanks men. I have edited out my mistaken reference to the Australian building being destroyed by fire and dropped the mixed up Fink Building fire picture, as we've had it many times.

And Daffy, you're right - the book's picture caption in incorrect. I wondered about it, but not enough (I did this one in the early hours). By the slope of the hill I began to think it was laying the cornerstone of the Town Hall - but what's the church from that position, not Scot's I think.
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Indeed a beautiful thread, with a lot of very great pics with most of them being long-gone. I love them, esp the ones below:

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Most of you probably know all this but maybe a few you might not? The top pic is near the corner of William looking east along Collins. The building on the right is still there..was the AMP. The second pic is the laying of the Melbourne Town Hall foundation stone the angle of the road is the hill looking toward where the Regent theatre is now.All buildings in this pic are gone including church in background..oh..the stone is still there ! The Yarra scene shows the original river which wound north through where Victoria Harbour is now and back to present location near Spencer St.It was an enormous project widening, relocating ( Coode canal)and adding Victoria Dock.In the next pic the only building I can recognise as still there is the one on the corner of Queen and Collins behind the cable tram. The building on right side of pic was part of the old Eastern Market where the AXA Centre plaza is now.The next pic notice the water gutters continue across Collins St. along Elizabeth St. It's a natural water coarse.These often flooded and it was known that people had drowned in Elizabeth st. Collins St East is great in that many of the buildings in this pic are still there..on the left is one Collins St, the building beside it still there also, abet only facade incorporated into modern office space. The double domed Freemasons building along a bit further had one of the most elaborate interiors of any building in the city at the time including a huge ballroom.Beside it was the Oriental Hotel which operated till the early '70's when most of the block was torn down for Collins Place. Opposite the Melbourne Club, and further down what was the Independant and Scotts Churches..and Town Hall The clock in the next pic is where the clock tower is now at the end of Elizabeth St.This original clock was restored and was on show for a while near where Freshwater place is now but now ???? Fantasic that this is one of the most intact streetscapes in Melbourne..incorporating The Olderfleet and Rialto etc. As for the Australia building, how I wish that was saved....even if completely gutted with modern space was one of the tallest buildings in the world..often quoted as tallest but think Chicago had it beat.The final disgust is to see what replaced it! yuck!..and the last one ???? well I knew baseball caps had to follow something ???
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I guess hindsight's easy, and in 1837 no-one foresaw the city Melbourne would become - so, while Robert Hoddle gave us 99ft wide streets, it's sort of hard to see why he and Governor Bourke never envisaged a hub or civic place, isn't it? It took us 150 years or so, and many plans to overcome the lack of it.

I thought this vision from the Part 1 thread was interesting, closing off the top of Bourke, removing the wing addition of the Windsor Hotel and the buildings opposite down to the Princess Theatre, which got a rear auditorim of some kind (and one poster on Part 1 has contributed that something of the kind was envisaged in the original State Parliament plans, but scrapped for fear of rowdy public gatherings).

This plan on Flinders Street is the Lewis book - and I think
The Collector has given it to us before. It would have scrapped Flinders Street station for an office block! It was promoted in 1961 by businessman and former Lord Mayor William Lempriere. That was the tear-everything-down 1960s. I think a similar plan Collector once showed us had
a super-tall (for those times) on the site.

The other legacy we took long to overcome was turning the city's back to the river. I guess no-one thought much of the Yarra then:

And...well, I'll just find any excuse to re-produce pictures of my favorite oldie:

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great thread. Anyone got a picture of the yarra falls? I've never seen one.
but what's the church from that position, not Scot's I think.
It will be St Enoch's, which can also be seen in the picture below of the opening parade of the great 1888 Exhibition, slightly hazy in the left (behind DOUGLAS & SONS).

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