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Spring Street, Collector's Melbourne

2430 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  The Collector
Spring Street, Marvellous Melbourne

Photographs taken over the past three years.

From south-end to north-end

Part 1

To my mind, Melbourne is the queen city of the south; Africa, South America and Oceania cannot boast a city as beautiful as this.
Fernando Villaamil 1893

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Part 2

Parliament House, a good spot to photograph trams.

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This early Katsalidis is one of my favourite on the street and the whole city:

as always Collector: :applause:
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trés bien collector
wonderful photography on all your threads!
Spring st is so grand... absolutely love it.
I also really wish there was more access to the buildings behind the old Treasury. They are amazing!
Some great old postcards of Spring Street, enjoy! :)

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This early Katsalidis is one of my favourite on the street and the whole city:

as always Collector: :applause:
Thanks Tayser, one of my all time favourites as well!
Much more to come. :)
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excellent tour. Bought back some good memories of walking the street earlier on in the year.
Text from Walking Melbourne
The National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne

Parliament House

Melbourne’s grandest public building is located in a position terminating the long vista up Bourke Street; the early date and monumental scale of the design indicates the huge aspirations of the young colony. Following furore about blocking views of St. Patrick’s, and a competition that failed to generate a winner, the initial design was developed in 1855 by Peter Kerr and J G Knight. Construction in stages was immediately started, with the two parliamentary chambers opening in 1856, followed by the rear library and then Queen’s Hall, but their rough bluestone exterior walls remained visible for many years because the grand street façade was not completed until 1892, following a search for a suitable Victorian stone. This imposing classical colonnade atop massive stairs, designed by Peter Kerr alone in 1877, is more grandiose than the original design (and is strikingly similar to the smaller Leeds Town Hall in the UK, completed in 1858). The delightful gardens and the ornate cast iron fence and lamps were added by 1892, but the north and south wings have never been completed, nor has the tall dome, the most well-known architectural statement in Melbourne never to have materialized. The craftsmanship and detailing throughout the building is of extraordinarily high quality, and the interiors are spectacular, particularly the plush Upper House, one of the finest spaces built in 19th century Australia, Queens Hall and the vestibule. Commonwealth Parliament sat here from Federation in 1901 until its move to Canberra in 1927.

What Parliament house would look like if it is ever completed.

Edwardian postcard showing south-west corner.

The north-west corner.

Parliament House in the 1960s.

The Vestibule.

Queen's Hall.

Queen's Hall ceiling.

Legislative Assembly.

Legislative Council showing ceiling.

Legislative Council.

From the balcony, Legislative Council.

Parliament Library.

Recent postcard of Parliament House.

Four photographs I've taken below. 8)

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Text from Walking Melbourne
The National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne

Princess Theatre
163-181 Spring Street

The first theatre on this site opened in 1854, and the present theatre was designed by William Pitt for the theatrical entrepreneurs Williamson Garner & Musgrove, and opened in 1886 with the Australian premier of The Mikado. It is considered an exemplar of the French Second Empire style, complete with multiple mansard domed roofs topped by cast iron crowns; the delightful leadlight windowed ‘winter garden’ foyer at the first floor was added in c1901 and the auditorium was rebuilt in 1922 in the ‘Adam’ style by theatre specialist Henry White. Facing an uncertain future in the 1980s, it was extensively restored in 1989 by Allom Lovell & Associates, and is now the Flagship of Melbourne’s ‘theatreland’. The Princess backs onto the rear of the former Palace Theatre, giving rise to the urban rumour that chorus girls would appear in one show, then run across the back lane to appear in another!

Princess Theatre, above and below, before balconies were filled in to create the ‘winter garden’ foyer in 1901.

An old aerial.

Four of my own below.

Princes Theatre at night.

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Text from A Short History of Melbourne Architecture

Windsor Hotel
137 Spring Street
1884-88 Charle Webb

The Windsor Hotel, with its twin French Empire towers and opulent interiors, is one of Australia’s most majestic 19th century hotels. Built with 200 rooms in 1884 and known as the Grand Hotel, it was extended for the Century Exhibition of 1888 to 360 rooms, and named the Grand Coffee Palace in the spirit of temperance of the time. It was renamed the Windsor Hotel in the 1920s.

Above, the Windsor Hotel then called the Grand Hotel was originally only half its size, as seen in this photograph from 1884.
Below, the entrance to the Windsor Hotel as it looked in 1888.

The larger building below.

Below, four postcards of the Windsor Hotel.

Inside the Windsor dining room.

Some of my own shots below.

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The story of The Windsor Hotel

Chrystopher J. Spicer
Loch Haven Books
First published in 1993

Out of print

The Windsor Hotel is the Duchess of Melbourne’s hotels. A grand old lady, the Windsor maintains its commanding position – and reputation – with the well-bred haughtiness that comes from more than a hundred years of experience. Quite apart from her elegance, tradition and professional stature, the Windsor can also claim regal characteristics of another class. Not only is the hotel named after the British royal family, but by a strange twist of parliamentary process the hotel was, at one time, owned by the Queen.

This book is well researched, printed and presented, a pleasure to read. :)
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Old Treasury Building
Spring Street

The Old Treasury is regarded as one of the finest 19th century public buildings in Australia, a superb example of Renaissance Revival.
Restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1994, the City Museum as it is now called provides an ideal orientation to Melbourne for visitors wishing to understand and explore the city's history, architecture, art and contemporary life.

The outstanding attraction of the building is the evocative gold vaults housing a dynamic contemporary exhibition "built on gold".

The Old Treasury was designed by a nineteen year old architect J J Clark in 1857 and completed in 1862. This much loved Melbourne landmark is a reflection of the vision that Melburnians of the 1850s gold rush era had for their future city.

As well as being built to store the colony's gold, the Old Treasury provided offices for the leaders of the young colony. The Governor, the Premier, the Treasurer and the Auditor General all had offices within the magnificent Old Treasury.

Whilst the building is now a public museum, the Old Treasury continues its unbroken history of governance in the affairs of the state. The Governor of Victoria continues to meet weekly with the Executive Council to sign off legislation in the magnificent Executive Council Chamber situated on the first floor.

The City Museum houses three permanent exhibitions ("built on gold", "melbourne: a city built on gold", "growing up in old treasury") and a rotating program of temporary exhibitions. A comprehensive educational program is offered.

The City Museum
Old Treasury Building
Spring Street (top end of Collins Street)
Telephone 9651 2233

The Website:

Opening times:
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday

Admission: Adult $8.50, concession $5.00, family $18.00

Below, three postcards of The Old Treasury.

The following are seven of my own photographs.

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