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Melbourne's Tallest Building, Skyscraper Timeline

Melbourne's skyscraper record is impressive, by any standards. The city has a history of tall buildings, just as do other cities such as Chicago and New York. Despite a general 40 metre height limit enforced between 1916 and 1957, which precluded anything but decorative towers, the city has had a history of impressive skyscrapers, which included many of the world's first skyscrapers in the 1890s.

Melbourne has for many years laid claim to Australia's tallest building.
Skyscrapers Tall Buildings Best Tall Buildings: 2009

The city once had the world's 3rd tallest skyscraper in the Australian Building 1889 (sadly demolished in the 1980s). The building was Australia's and the southern hemisphere's very first true skyscraper (12 storeys or taller).
Today, Melbourne is home to 5 out of the 10 tallest buildings in Australia, and Australia's tallest since 1980 in the Rialto (as well as the title of tallest in the southern hemisphere). The skyline is one of the world's most admired. The Eureka Tower (under construction) will retain that title for many years to come, and gain a new title as the world's tallest residential tower. A recently failed proposal for the Grollo tower, shows that Melbourne is a city that well and truly aspires to great heights, and a current building boom has seen a seemingly endless supply of giant buildings being constructed.

A chronology

A list of the tallest city buildings at different stages in Melbourne's history

1880

Yorkshire Brewery
8 storeys
status : heritage protection but in extremely derelict condition
Yorkshire

1888

Fink's Building
43 metres & 10 storeys
status : demolished (c1960)
Fink's Building - demolished c1960

1889

The Australian Building
53 metres & 12 storeys
status : demolished (c1980)
The Australian Building - demolished c1980

1929

APA Tower
76 metres & 14 storeys
status : demolished (c1969)
APA Tower - demolished c1969

1958 - 1962

Orica House (former ICI House)
81 metres & 20 storeys
status : heritage protection
ICI House

1962 - 1969

CRA Building
96 metres & 26 storeys
status : demolished (c1992)
CRA Building - demolished c1969

1969 - 1971

AMP Square
113 metres & 28 storeys
status : under threat
AMP Building - under threat of demolition

1971 - 1972

Marland House
Marland House, 121 metres & 32 storeys
Maryland House

1972 - 1975

140 William Street (former BHP House)
152 metres & 31 storeys
status : heritage protection
BHP House - Heritage Registered

1975 - 1977

Optus House
153 metres & 34 storeys
Optus House

1977 - 1980

80C (formerly Nauru House)
182 metres & 52 storeys
Nauru House

1980 - 1986

ANZ Bank Tower (Collins Place)
185 metres & 50 storeys
Collins Place

1986 - 1991

Rialto Towers
251 metres & 63 storeys
Rialto Towers

1991 - 2006

BHP Petroleum Plaza (120 Collins Street)
264 metres & 52 storeys
120 Collins Street

2006 - Present

Eureka Tower
297 metres & 91 storeys

Eureka Tower

(Thanks to the Collector for recent clarifications)

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