Arts & Culture » History

Marble in Melbourne

Marble in Melbourne

July 2nd, 2024 - Robin Grow

One of Melbourne’s classic interwar buildings is the Manchester Unity, which still dominates the corner of Collins and Swanston streets. Designed in 1932 for a major commercial organisation, it combines commercial gothic and Art Deco styling.


The sounds of 180 Bank St

August 9th, 2023 - Robin Grow

Buildings often show characteristics of change of purpose, architectural style, design and decorative features.

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Pubs of the South – The Maori Chief: a touch of New Zealand

July 5th, 2023 - Robin Grow

Numerous pubs were constructed in the 19th century in South Melbourne including in the area now known as Southbank. 

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Commonwealth celebrations – May 1901

June 7th, 2023 - Robin Grow

The month of May 1901 was a major point for the new country of Australia with foundation celebrations taking place across the new nation.

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Southbank swamp

May 10th, 2023 - Robin Grow

Like other parts of inner Melbourne, such as Port Melbourne and West Melbourne, the area that became Southbank was swampland, with low-lying wetlands that were eventually reclaimed for manufacturing businesses, warehouses and wharves.

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The Royal Melbourne Show – it took off in Southbank!

April 5th, 2023 - Robin Grow

One of Melbourne’s long-standing cultural, agricultural and industry highlights is the Royal Melbourne Show, held each September at the showgrounds in Flemington. The highly successful event reflects the importance of the agricultural sector in Victoria.

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Telephone exchanges in South Melbourne

March 8th, 2023 - Robin Grow

Newspapers in 1920 stated their opinion that the day was not far distant when the telephone would be installed in every home, just as the water, mains and sewers are connected in the cities.

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On the ropewalk!

February 8th, 2023 - Robin Grow

Ropemaking can be traced back to early days of seafaring, and became more necessary with the rigging and lashings of sailing ships, which required large quantities of strong, large diameter ropes for shipping together with ropes for haulage, rope drives, lifting cranes, etc.

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A history of fire in Southbank 

December 7th, 2022 - Robin Grow

“Fire! Fire!” was a cry that was feared during the 19th century in South Melbourne, much of which is now known as Southbank. 

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Trouble at the mill!

November 9th, 2022 - Robin Grow

In the pre-WWII years, the area now known as Southbank contained a number of knitting mills that fuelled the growing Australian domestic market for textiles. 

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Mid-century modern on St Kilda Rd

October 5th, 2022 - Robin Grow

The firm of Bates Smart McCutcheon (BSM) has been a major contributor to architecture in Victoria for more than 150 years.

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New church in Southbank

September 7th, 2022 - Robin Grow

In the early twentieth century, traditional church denominations in Melbourne were joined by two new churches - the Latter-day Saints (generally referred to as the Mormons) and the Christian Science Church.

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Spencer Street Bridge

August 10th, 2022 - Robin Grow

At the western end of Southbank lies the Spencer Street Bridge, a major interwar crossing that carried traffic to and from the city over the Yarra River.

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When the circus came to Southbank

July 6th, 2022 - Robin Grow

It sits on the wall outside Hamer Hall – a mural dedicated to Wirth’s Circus, which occupied part of the St Kilda Rd site from 1907. The circus was touted as the “Greatest Show on Earth” and caused great excitement when it came to Melbourne.

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Government House and its golden-yellow flag

June 8th, 2022 - Robin Grow

On the eastern horizon of Southbank and on the outer edge of the Botanic Gardens, Government House (the official residence of the Governor of Victoria) sits proudly and can be seen by residents of Southbank.

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Under the spire at the Arts Centre

May 11th, 2022 - Robin Grow

The Arts Centre spire is an icon of Melbourne and Southbank. The white lacework spire rises graciously over the Arts Centre on St Kilda Rd and provides a visual highlight for Southbank.

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Cable trams, Rolls Royces and a luxury hotel

April 7th, 2022 - Robin Grow

Heading south from Southbank along St Kilda Rd takes you past the Royce Hotel, a distinctive boutique hotel – and one with a fascinating history.

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When the MCG was in Southbank!

March 9th, 2022 - Robin Grow

Many residents of Southbank have a good view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from their windows and balconies.

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“Chevalier Blondin” – from Niagara Falls to Southbank

February 10th, 2022 - Robin Grow

It’s a long way from Niagara Falls in the USA to Southbank, via numerous other spots in the world.  Yet that was the journey taken by “Chevalier Blondin”, born Jean Francois Gravelet in 1824, an adventurer who specialised in walking on tightropes, a skill developed in his native France.

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December 10th, 2021 - Robin Grow

President, Australian Art Deco & Modernism Society A major change arrived on Melbourne’s streets in the 1920s with the arrival of the taxicab

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Southbank Morgue

Southbank Morgue

July 11th, 2019 - Southbank News
From corporate office to high-end living

From corporate office to high-end living

October 10th, 2018 - Southbank News
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