1889 Swanston Street


A painting of Swanston Street in 1889, looking to the south across the street to the Melbourne Town Hall. Collins Street is the next street just past the Town Hall. The magnificent portico had been added to the Town Hall just a year earlier. On the other side of Collins Street we see the Victoria Buildings with Queen Victoria's statue surmounting the corner. Further down Swanston Street we can see the construction of St Paul's Cathedral under way.

Painting attributed to Jacques Carabain 1834-1933.

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Notes from the State Library tell us that "Carabain's painting conveys the grandeur and confidence of Melbourne in the 1880s. The Town Hall towers over pedestrians and a hansom cab in the foreground, partially obscuring the grand Victoria Buildings behind. In 1867 the architects Reed & Barnes won the competition to design a new Town Hall which was subsequently built and opened on 9 August 1870. When the portico was added 18 years later, a contemporary report in The Australasian Sketcher stated that it 'will be of great benefit to the large audiences which so frequently assemble in this building for concerts, balls, dinners, etc'. The smaller structure to the left of the Town Hall is the Police Court which was replaced by the present-day administration building in 1908-10."

This is a digitally retouched reproduction of the original held by the State Library of Victoria. All prints are reproduced without the HOTPRESS watermarks.

Our team of conservators have worked on a high resolution digital image in order to remove blemishes and artifacts such as stains, mould, scratches and damage caused by the handling of the original. We strive to provide authentic representations of the original work that are suitable for enlargements that retain the tones and character of the original.

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