This is the last piece in our series on Melbourne’s historic buildings no longer standing. It has to be said that change is inevitable and some buildings become economically non-viable. Today’s developers are required in most cases to respect heritage values and if a building can no longer be maintained, the facade is preserved and the character retained. We now value our heritage and those who transgress these values or ‘thumb their noses’ at heritage overlays pay dearly. Witness the Corkman Hotel demolition in Carlton. An order is in place that requires it to be fully restored in every detail. Times have indeed changed.
This week we start with what was known as the APA Tower, located on the corner of Queens and Collins St. Constructed between 1927–29, it was formally opened in 1930. It stood as one of Melbourne’s tallest buildings until the 1950s. It was demolished in 1969 to make way for a modern office block tower of 20 storeys.
Queen Victoria Hospital
The Queen Victoria Hospital at 210 Lonsdale St was constructed between 1910 and 1966. It was initially the site of the Royal Melbourne Hospital which eventually was moved and occupied the former military hospital at its present Grattan St site in 1946.
At the time of this move, the premises then became known as the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital.
The distinctive red brick building’s eastern and western wings were demolished in the 1990s leaving only the central block standing. It is now used as the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre.
The site is currently occupied by the Queen Victoria retail shopping precinct and office blocks. The site was in part established by Dr Constance Stone, the first woman to register as a medical practitioner in 1890. Dr Stone continued to work there for many years. Her younger sister along with Margaret Whyte became the first two women to graduate with medical degrees from Melbourne University in 1891.
The Eastern Market
The market was located on the eastern end of the block bounded by Exhibition St, Bourke St, Russell and Lt Collins St. Designed by architects Reeds and Barnes it was built over two years from 1877–79.
Shoppers at the Eastern Market could buy fresh produce as well as trinkets. The markets range was very similar to that on offer at the Queen Victoria Market. Towards the end of its lifespan, it was open late on a Saturday and offered Fortune Telling and other sideshow style acts in an effort to attract more patronage.
Demolished in 1959, the market and its shops were pulled down to make way for the Southern Cross Hotel, the iconic location that eventually witnessed mass protests in the late 1960s and early 1970s against the Vietnam War, due to its perceived American ownership.
The hotel was itself demolished in 2003 to make way for the SXI Southern Cross Tower. It is said that the Southern Cross Hotel was the only 1960s building of significant architectural merit constructed in that period.
City of Melbourne Bank
The Bank building was located on the corner (south east) of Collins and Elizabeth St. It was built in 1888 and used as a bank until 1939-40 when it was demolished to make way for the new ES+A Bank building. The ES+A eventually merged with the ANZ which today still occupies the site.
This building, constructed in the 1880s was eventually torn down in 1973. It was replaced with a nondescript red brick office block, which has now also been demolished. The site is currently a 3 storey retail and office complex.
The brewery covered a whole block from Queensberry St through to Victoria St bounded by Swanston St and Bouverie St. Entrance was through Bouverie St. The official address was 2–76 Bouverie St, Carlton.
The original building was constructed in 1864, with over the years several less significant buildings occupying the site. It was demolished in 1989 and has stood vacant during that period. A large tower is scheduled for construction on the site.
St James Building
The building was located on the southwest corner of Bourke and William St. Constructed and completed by 1889, it consisted of offices and warehouses. AMP Insurance purchased the site in 1966 and the AMP and St James buildings were built in 1969.
The Paris end of Collins St
The eastern end of Collins St with its elegant period buildings, Plane trees and wide vistas was known as the ‘Paris end of Collins St’.
This building was located at 63 Collins St on the corner of Exhibition St.
It was designed by the architects Oakden and Ballantyne and was built during World War 1 between 1915 and 1917. It was originally occupied with offices and medical practices. It was demolished to facilitate the Collins Place Complex.
Ogg and Co Buildings
Originally built as a row of townhouses, the site was occupied from 1874 by Ogg and Co Chemists until its demolition in 1976. it featured an ornate 19th Century wrought iron verandah.
In 1854, the Melbourne City Council created a city wide ordinance that required the removal of all such ornate 19th Century cast or wrought iron verandahs. At the time these decorative features were considered an embarrassment. Strangely, during the Royal visit that year, ‘Illustrated London News’ published a prominent photo of this same verandah intact, noting how it represented Melbourne’s sophisticated urban style.
So it would seem that much of the Paris end of Collins St has gone and we did indeed lose many treasures in our scramble for modernity, with perhaps just a little developers greed thrown in for good measure.
Next week we take a look at the ‘new’ Melbourne, its iconic buildings and locations that now shape the character and style of this grand city. Balance Architecture have a love and passion for this great city and there is always one thing you can always be certain of wherever you may choose to live – change.