485 Collins St, Le Meridian at Rialto Hotel, occupies two magnificent examples of
turn of the century Melbourne architecture. Erected in 1891 in the English Queen
Anne style, the Winfield Building was formerly the Wool Exchange Building
containing Melbourne's first Wool Exchange and headquarters to stock and station
agents. Across the laneway, now a formal entry opening to a huge nine story
atrium, another building housed law firms and government offices. The Gothic
facade replicates Venetian mercantile buildings from the great trading city. On the
lower level you can see and move across the original bluestone cobbled laneway
but take care as horse and cart traffic has worn grooves in the lane making it
difficult to cross. An accessible toilet is on ground level and the lower level.
477 Collins St are the Olderfleet Buildings. Erected 1889 90 they were tenanted
largely by wool merchants and the Melbourne Woolbrokers Association. The
Olderfleet buildings are regarded as a masterpiece by architect William Pitt and as
the finest commercial Gothic Revival buildings in Melbourne . The original buildings
extended back to Flinders Lane. The red brick facade is flamboyantly rendered,
with tiled surface, Gothic arches, half columns and pinnacles and crowned by a
unique clock tower. The original iron gateway is still in place.
`The Historic Precinct'
The historic precinct extends on both sides of Collins St consisting of buildings of
historical and architectural significance. On the north side is the former ANZ Bank
building and, on its western side, the London and Lancashire building, both with
facades in compatible Renaissance revival styles. The important streetscape on the
southern side of Collins Street between Queen Street and Market Street contains
buildings of similar height, colour and vertical emphasis. The strong vertical Gothic
BUILDINGS & SCULPTURES
theme carries diagonally across to Goode House and continues westward along
Collins Street to the end of the block.
394 398 Collins St, Goode House, is considered one of the finest Gothic Revival
buildings in Victoria and is the focus of an exceptional group of nineteenth century
banks and offices around the Collins/Queen Sts intersection. Deep recessed arches
and projecting oriels climbing the facade are unique with the corner tower, fine
mouldings and beige freestone facades in eclectic Gothic style. The foundation
stone was laid in 1891 with the remainder of the Queen St facade erected in 1903