There is a fantastic variety of architecture in Melbourne that ranges from the old to the new, residential to business, and landmarks to landscapes. But what most architectural buffs come for is to catch a glimpse of some of Melbourne’s famous historic buildings. As the subject of many walking tours in Melbourne, architecture in the city has some very strong roots and has inspired generations of fabulous architects. If you want to see some of the best historical buildings, then it’s recommended that you join a Melbourne day tour so that you don’t miss any of the following gems.
The Victoria Brewery, 388-442 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne
Built in 1882 by architect William Pitt, the Victoria Brewery showcases a mixture of styles in a render and brick composition on a rustic bluestone base. The three stories complete with towers and an arched gateway are standout features in the clever design of this building, which all come together to create a very dramatic overall effect. The styles from Queen Anne, castellated Tudor Gothic and Romanesque are all represented in this marvellous historical landmark.
Wesley Church, 128-148 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Construction for this epic cathedral began in 1857, and the building itself does a fine job in representing the Neo-Gothic style that was so popular in the Georgian period. The most notable features of this historic landmark include the bluestone building materials, the prominent freestone moulded pinnacles and the grand copper spire. Architect Joseph Reed is credited for designing this impressive church.
St. Mary’s Anglican Cathedral, 163 Howard Street, North Melbourne
This remarkable structure, built from 1858-1868, is one of North Melbourne’s oldest buildings and Lloyd Tayler’s first works. Built in the neo-gothic style of the Victorian period, this church will inspire awe for the details both on the inside and outside of the building. Not only does its architectural design stand out magnificently, but visitors can also enjoy a stroll through the attractive gardens that now surrounds the cathedral.
Former Stock Exchange, 351 Collins Street, Melbourne
Another gem that came from William Pitt in 1888 is the Former Stock Exchange building that is now currently being used as an office. All six floors of this truly beautiful building contain an impossibly rich and detailed façade, a fantastic Venetian gothic tower, stained glass windows and ornate tracery. The recessed gothic arches complete with gargoyles and spectacular stonework also contribute to a composition that will leave a strong lasting impression on any architecture admirer.
Banyule, 60-74 Buckingham Drive, Heidelberg
Just a short drive from Melbourne’s city centre is one of Melbourne’s most famous mansions: Banyule. Drafted by architect John Gill and built in 1839, this historic residential mansion of the Victorian period is a fantastic representation of the Picturesque Gothick style. As a somewhat unusual style for Melbourne in that particular time period, the composition of Banyule features gables, pinnacles and several bay windows and sits on a fantastic piece of land overlooking a creek. Banyule is considered to be the oldest colonial mansion remaining in Victoria.
Melbourne is a haven of historical architecture, and anyone who is interested is completely spoiled for choice. Rent a car, take a tour or simply put on your walking shoes and wander around for a little while, and you are sure to see something spectacular.