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Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station
© Quentin Mushins

Melbourne is one of the best preserved neo-gothic cities in the world. The rectangular grid of the CBD together with the wide streets, the trams and mainly European trees create a dignified formal streetscape that the locals take for granted.

Melbourne's first years as a European settlement were not salubrious. It was a remote township, a long way from England and even from established towns in Australia. We had the good fortune to have the government surveyor, Robert Hoddle, lay out a generous grid for the town - one mile by half a mile with streets 99 feet wide. Much of that land was unused in the first 15 years of Melbourne's existence. Various small functional buildings grew up, but few had architectural pretension.

Then came gold in 1851! The colony was transformed, and over the next 30 years nearly all pre-Gold Rush buildings were replaced with more ostentatious ones.

Today there are few pre-Gold Rush buildings remaining in the centre of Melbourne. They include St. James Old Cathedral and Mayor John Smith's residence.

With the Gold Rush came wealth and a building boom, and as always, having great wealth does not always mean having great taste. Some of the buildings of that period were the kitsch of the time and the over-ornamented ostentatious style is often referred to as the 'boom style' (referring to the land boom).

The most concentrated collection of major buildings from this period can be found in Collins Street.

Some Significant Melbourne Buildings

7 Monuments of Melbourne

  1. A Monument to Sydney-Melbourne Rivalry
  2. Two Yarra Bookends
  3. An Antarctic Monument
  4. Troubles on the other side of the world
  5. A Plaque but no Statue
  6. Two Pillars of Melbourne
  7. Two Horse Troughs

7 Mansions of Melbourne

  1. Tara
  2.  Raheen
  3. Cranlana

Significant Buildings

Historic Buildings (since demolished)

Significant Monuments

 

You can find a comprehensive guide to markets around Australia at The White Hat Guide to Markets in Australia.