Block Arcade, Melbourne


Block Arcade, Melbourne

Block Arcade is a heritage shopping arcade in Melbourne, Victoria. Melbourne's Golden Mile heritage walk runs through the arcade.

It forms a short, narrow laneway, connecting Collins Street to Little Collins Street in the central business district of Melbourne. It is also connected to Elizabeth Street in the west, thus, forming a L-shaped arcade and connecting to Block Place through to the Royal Arcade.

The arcade which was erected between 1891 and 1893 was designed by architect David C. Askew whose brief was to produce something similar to the Galleria Vittoria in Milan. The result was one of Melbourne's most richly decorated interior spaces, replete with mosaic tiled flooring, glass canopy, wrought iron and carved stone finishings. The exterior façade of the six storey office has near identical facades on Collins and Elizabeth Streets and is one of Australia's best surviving examples of the Victorian Mannerist style.

The arcade was formerly known as "Carpenter's Lane", however the precinct was widely known as "The Block". Once the works were complete, local shopkeepers successfully petitioned to have it changed to its present name.

It is a significant Victorian era arcade and is on the Victorian Heritage Register. Along with Melbourne's other main arcade, the Royal Arcade, and Melbourne's lanes, it is a tourist icon of the city.

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