Walking Melbourne


1870 - 1889

The Victorian period, during the reign of Queen Victoria in England was an architectural period of eclecticism.

High Victorian is referred to as the period of the 1880s, when eclecticism and excess reigned. Prevalent styles included the Neo-Gothic, Neo-Classicism, Second Empire, Mannerist, Tudor-Revival, Romanesque and Italianate.

Melbourne was one of the worlds greatest Victorian cities, along with London, Manchester, New York and Chicago. The land boom of 1888-1892 caused a huge collection of tall towers to be built in the city of Melbourne. These early skyscrapers were some of the first structure to use the newly invented hydraulic lift systems.

Many Victorian era buildings were demolished from the 1950s-60s. Some of the world's best were lost in Melbourne, including several of the grand temperance hotels, the Federal Coffee Palace, Menzies Hotel, Queen Victoria Buildings, City of Melbourne Bank, Fish Markets, Finks Buildings, Prell's towers and Colonial Mutual Life Building, Eastern and Western Markets.

Marvellous Melbournes great property boom of 1888 occurred right in the peak of High Victorian era. There are numerous surviving examples of High Victorian architecture.

Among the surviving examples, important buildings include the Olderfleet and Rialto buildings, Block Arcade, Gothic Bank, Former Stock Exchange, Exhibition Buildings, Parliament House and Treasury Buildings, Town Hall and General Post Office, Hotel Windsor, Princess Theatre, Public Library, Law Courts, St Pauls and St Patricks Cathedrals and Government House.

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