Thursday, November 01, 2007

FRIDAYS HISTORY LESSON: Collins Street Melbourne.

Collins Street in the early 1900's (courtesy of Rail Page)

Collins Street is a major street in the Melbourne central business district and runs approximately east to west.
It is notable as Melbourne's best known street, with some of the country's finest Victorian era buildings.
Known as The 'Paris end' of Collins Street, the Eastern end is a part of Marvellous Melbourne mythology. Although modern development has destroyed some of the European flavour of the top-end of Collins Street it still retains designer boutiques and cafes. The length of Collins Street between Elizabeth and King Streets has long been the financial heart of Melbourne and is home to banks and insurance companies.

One of the most breath taking buildings in Melbourne, if not on the outside, is probably 333 Collins Street Melbourne. The Atrium is one place you have got to see to believe. And, for your viewing pleasure, click HERE for a taste of it virtually. See...it does not disappoint.
Collins Street is named after Lieutenant-Governor David Collins who led a group of settlers in establishing a short-lived settlement at Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne in the early 1800s. He subsequently became the first governor of the colony of Van Diemens Land, later to be renamed Tasmania.
Festive time at The Block Arcade.
Around the turn of the century "doing the Block" became a pastime for shoppers at the Block Arcade area in the retail heart of the street between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets.
The Bank of New South Wales Melbourne office earned architect Joseph Reed a first prize in architecture. When the building was demolished in 1935, the facade was transferred to the University of Melbourne to become the Commerce building, (now administration for the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning)
During the 1950s and 1960s, the street became subject to extensive redevelopment and many historic buildings were demolished by Whelan the Wrecker, despite the efforts of the National Trust and the "Save Collins Street" group. While some examples of boom style architecture survive, the grandest examples were lost to the wrecker's ball. Of the major losses, the most significant were the large Victorian buildings including the Federal Coffee Palace, Colonial Mutual Life building, Robb's buildings, Queen Victoria Buildings, City of Melbourne Bank, Scott's Hotel, Melbourne Mansions and APA building.
Between 2003-2005, Collins Street was extended west beyond Spencer Street, and currently ends in plastic barriers and a T intersection with Stadium Drive. It is expected to extend further west in the future, as part of the new Docklands redevelopment. This will create an intersection between Bourke Street and Collins Streets, two of Melbourne's most important streets.
One of our top tourist attractions is the Rialto Towers pictured above. Standing at 251 m (824 ft), this allows visitors to have a birds eye view of Melbourne, our Port Phillip Bay and, if it is a clear day, you can see as far as The Dandenong Ranges.
There are also many gorgeous churches along the street, and if you take some time out to walk along and really look at each building you may find some treasures there..even if you have lived here for ages, sometimes things can go unnoticed. Oh, and if your feet get weary, don't fret, you can just hop on board a tram!

15 comments:

Andrew said...

Another fine job of selling Melbourne to the world Cazzie.

Queenie said...

Cazzie the next time I go to Aussie, Melbourne is on the top of my list to visit.

Helen said...

Sorry it took me so long to write a post on my blog! I never have the time! Well you left me a comment aaaaages ago asking me to come back, so I finally have done!
Helen x

bermudabluez said...

Very interesting! I'd love to visit Melbourne someday!!

Keshi said...

Finally I can say I've been there! :) I was in Collins St when I was in Mel last year...in a hotel called The Causeway. :)

Keshi.

general_boy said...

Hmmm... the last 2 trips I have made to Vicco have not included Melbourne. :(

About time I caught up!

Cazzie!!! said...

Andrew, why ty very much. As do your images of walking around Melbourne. You show people things they would otherwise miss.

Queenie, that is great..the kettle is on!

Helen, no worries, we can both catch up now eh?

Bermudabluez, come on over, you may find you love it :)

Keshi, well, you know what to do next you are here eh?

GB, "No time like THE NOW":)

rosemary said...

beautiful architecture

eric1313 said...

A bet the view from the top of the towers is most spectacular.

Detroit had a fire back in the late 1830's, and most of it's oldest buildings were destroyed. It's one of the few cities in the US that is over 300 years old, outside of the Eastern Seaboard.

At least you still have somewhat of a European flavor to the city. There's nothing like that left in Detroit. Just a French name, that's it.

G-Man said...

Thanks for the tour..What a beautiful place!! Have a great week, Cazzie you are the Hostess with the Mostess!
xoxox

Keshi said...

aha..meet up with ya sweetz! :)

Keshi.

poody said...

looks like fun!

Karen said...

Hi Cazzie, my hubby Greg remembers when it was a child, being taken to a downstairs cafe in Collins St, up from the Regent Theatre, same side of Collins St but further up towards the Paris End ... we've wandered up and down Collins St looking for this unique place - he remembers it being run by matronly ladies in white aprons ... he thinks it might have been run by Methodists or Presbyterians so definitely no alcohol! Can you help?

tiger said...

What was Collins Street like in 1951-1952. What were the bulidings like. I am interested as my husband was there while an Officer in the Merchant Navy. I hope you can give me the history of this famous street then as I am writing his memoirs. Thank you.Have a nice day. Jean Collins

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