Laneways are as synonymous with Melbourne as street art, coffee and wearing black. In this laneway series, we look at the history and characters of our smallest streets.
Nestled between Bourke and Little Collins streets, Russell Place is one of Melbourne’s oldest laneways. In 1860 it was the location of a boarding house run by Mrs Weeks and later in 1890, there was a request for additional street lighting by Mr Charles Elliot who was concerned that the laneway was being used as an informal public urinal by up to 20 men!
Russell Place has definitely taken a more sophisticated turn since those times, with fashionable inhabitants such as I Love Ugly, CoRLection, 124 Shoes and Pieces of Eight giving a stylish edge to the street.