Do the time warp and take a proper gander at these ye olde snaps. Is that really Melbourne? Yes, yes it is.
Flinders Street Station
Our domed icon is a baby in this happy snap. Only finished five to ten years earlier in 1903, Flinders Street Station is brand new on the scene. It’s a free for all out the front. A wild mix of automobiles, horse-drawn carts and open-back trams. Plus plenty of commuters favouring the perennial bicycle.
Princes Bridge Station
It’s 1960 and Federation Square is nowhere in sight. Instead, cylindrical Princes Bridge Station sits above a sea of brown track. Demolished in 1964 and replaced with the notoriously ugly Gas and Fuel building. Having déjà vu? Yes, the new Metro Tunnel Town Hall station entrance is being built on the same spot.
File under some things never change: green and yellow trams and St Pauls Cathedral.
Manchester Unity Building rooftop cafe
Who knew the Manchester Unity Building was an early adopter of rooftop dining? In the 60s it boasted an alfresco garden cafe. Complete with palm trees, Japanese maples, fountain and pond. Plus rumoured roaming flamingos and a string quartet. Wow.
European-style laneways have always been a window-shopping city staple. Although Centre Place is barely recognisable in late-60s black and white. Signs advertise practical wares like skirts, army supplies, cameras and cards. And everyone looks very dressed up.
Foys department store rooftop carnival
Foys Art Deco department store digs on the corner of Swanston and Bourke once rivalled Myer and David Jones. Foy’s were famous for their Christmas decorations – starring a three-storey Santa. Scary. After World War II Foy’s added a morale-boosting open-air carnival to its roof. Complete with a petting zoo, pony rides, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and water boat ride. Other mid-60s oddities include a skyscraper-free view and flying Union Jack.
Playgrounds in Flagstaff Gardens
Matching bonnets, faces away from the camera and chicken wire fencing. 1920s playtime in Flagstaff Gardens had major Children of the Corn vibes. Look closely at the top right hand corner of the image to see kids swinging at heights that today’s health and safety standards would never permit.
Thanks to the City of Melbourne’s Art and Heritage Collection and the State Library of Victoria for these amazing archival photos.