Collins Street, Melbourne
Collins Street is a major street in the Melbourne central business district and runs approximately east to west.

It is notable as Melbourne's traditional main street
Main Street
Main Street is the metonym for a generic street name of the primary retail street of a village, town, or small city in many parts of the world...

 and best known street, is often regarded as Australia's premier street, with some of the country's finest Victorian era buildings.

The 'Paris end' (Eastern end) is a part of Marvellous Melbourne mythology. Although modern development has destroyed some of the European flavour of the top-end of Collins Street it still retains its uptown status with its designer boutiques and cafes.
The length of Collins Street between Elizabeth
Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Elizabeth Street is one of the main north-south streets in the central business district of Melbourne, Australia, part of the Hoddle Grid laid out in 1837.- Geography :...

 and King
King Street, Melbourne
King Street is a main street in the Melbourne central business district. King Street is part of the Pacific Highway, and used to be part of National Route 1 until the city by-pass road linking the Monash Freeway with the Westgate Freeway was completed...

 Streets has long been the financial heart of Melbourne and is home to banks and insurance companies.


As designed by Robert Hoddle
Robert Hoddle
Robert Hoddle was a surveyor of Port Phillip in the 1830s, and the creator of the Hoddle Grid, the street grid system upon which inner city Melbourne is based. He was also an accomplished artist and depicted scenes of the Port Philip region as well as New South Wales...

, it is exactly one mile in length and 99 feet (one and half
chains) wide.
Collins Street is named after Lieutenant-Governor David Collins
David Collins (governor)
Colonel David Collins was the first Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Van Diemens Land, founded in 1804, which in 1901 became the state of Tasmania in the Commonwealth of Australia.-Early life and military career:...

 who led a group of settlers in establishing a short-lived settlement at Sorrento
Sorrento, Victoria
Sorrento is a township in Victoria, Australia, located on the shores of Port Phillip on the Mornington Peninsula, about one and a half hours south of Melbourne...

 on the Mornington Peninsula
Mornington Peninsula
The Mornington Peninsula is a peninsula located south-east of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. It is surrounded by Port Phillip to the west, Western Port to the east and Bass Strait to the south, and is connected to the mainland in the north. Geographically, the peninsula begins its protrusion...

 south of Melbourne in the early 19th century. He subsequently became the first governor of the colony of Van Diemens Land, later to become Tasmania.

At the western end of the street was Batman's Hill
Batman's Hill
Batman's Hill in Melbourne, Australia was named for the Vandemonian adventurer and grazier John Batman. Now removed, the 18 metre high hill was located to the south of today's Collins Street and Southern Cross railway station, and is the site of a steel marker the same height as the original...

, named for the Tasmanian adventurer and grazier John Batman
John Batman
John Batman was an Australian grazier, businessman and explorer who is best known for his role in the founding of a settlement which became Melbourne and the colony of Victoria.-Life:...

, who built a house at the base in April 1836, where he lived until his death in 1839.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the top end of Collins Street was dominated by the rooms of medical professionals. The prestigious Melbourne Club
Melbourne Club
The Melbourne Club is a male only club, established in 1839 and located at 36-50 Collins Street, Melbourne; adjacent to the women-only Lyceum Club. The club is made up of approximately 1500 members; admission being by invitation only...

 was a dominant cultural presence. It was also the location of Grosvenor chambers
Grosvenor Chambers
Grosvenor Chambers at number 9 Collins Street, Melbourne was Australia's first custom built complex of artist's studios.It housed many famous Australian artists studios. Some artists who held studios there include, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Clara Southern, Charles Conder, E...

 (9 Collins Street) which was Australia's first custom designed studio complex, and was used by many prominent Australian artists.

Around the turn of the 20th century "doing the Block" became a pastime for shoppers at the Block Arcade area in the retail heart of the street between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets.

The Bank of New South Wales Melbourne office earned architect Joseph Reed
Joseph Reed (architect)
Joseph Reed , a Cornishman by birth, was probably the most influential Victorian era architect in Melbourne, Australia. He established a practice, Reed and Barnes in Melbourne in 1852. The practice now known as Bates Smart is one of the oldest continually operating in the world.Reed's buildings...

 a first prize in architecture. When the building was demolished in 1935, the facade was transferred to the University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria...

 to become the Commerce building, (now administration for the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning)

During the 1950s and 1960s, the street became subject to extensive redevelopment and many historic buildings were demolished by Whelan the Wrecker
Whelan the Wrecker
Whelan the Wrecker is a demolition company based in Melbourne which became infamous in the 1960s and later in the 1980s for its role in the destruction of much of the grand Victorian buildings of Marvellous Melbourne that the city had become famous for, many of them along Collins Street's "golden...

, despite the efforts of the National Trust and the "Save Collins Street" group. While some examples of boom style architecture survive, the grandest examples were lost to the wrecker's ball. Of the major losses, the most significant were the large Victorian buildings including the Federal Coffee Palace, Colonial Mutual Life
Colonial Mutual
The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited was founded in Melbourne, Australia in 1873. The first President of the Society was Sir Redmond Barry. The first Chief Manager was Thomas Jacques Martin.It was acquired by Commonwealth Bank in 2000....

 building, Robb's buildings, Queen Victoria Buildings, City of Melbourne Bank, Scott's Hotel, Melbourne Mansions
Melbourne Mansions
Melbourne Mansions was a five-storey apartment building located in Collins Street in Melbourne, Australia. Constructed in 1906, it is thought to have been the first purpose-built residential apartment block in the city....

 and APA building.

Between 2003-2005, Collins Street was extended west beyond Spencer Street
Spencer Street, Melbourne
Spencer Street is a major street in the central business district of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is named for John Spencer, 3rd Earl Spencer, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom....

, and currently ends outside the new ANZ and Myer headquarters further in the Docklands
Melbourne Docklands
Docklands is an inner city suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia occupying an area extending up to 2 km west of and adjacent to Melbourne's Central Business District . Its Local Government Area is the City of Melbourne...

 development. It will eventually extend further west in the future, as part of the new redevelopment. This will create an intersection between Bourke Street
Bourke Street, Melbourne
Bourke Street is one of Melbourne's best known streets. Historically been regarded as Melbourne's "second street", with the main street being Collins Street and "busier than Bourke Street" is a popular catchphrase. Bourke Street has traditionally been Melbourne's entertainment hub...

 and Collins Streets, two of Melbourne's most important streets.


Collins Street is also home to the Athenaeum
Athenaeum, Melbourne
The Athenaeum or Melbourne Athenaeum is one of the oldest public institutions in Victoria, Australia, founded in 1839. The first President was Captain William Lonsdale, the first Patron was the Superintendent of Port Philip, Charles La Trobe and the first books were donated by Vice-President Henry...

 and Regent
Regent Theatre, Melbourne
The Regent Theatre is a 2162 seat theatre in Melbourne, Australia. It is listed by the National Trust of Australia and is on the Victorian Heritage Register.-History:...

 theatres, both of which host Australian and international theatre productions and live performances throughout the year.

Shopping and boutiques

Collins Street is Melbourne's premier shopping street and retailers with flagship stores there include:
  • Chanel
    Chanel S.A. is a French fashion house founded by the couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, well established in haute couture, specializing in luxury goods . She gained the name "Coco" while maintaining a career as a singer at a café in France...

  • Prada
    Prada S.p.A. is an Italian fashion label specializing in luxury goods for men and women , founded by Mario Prada.-Foundations:...

  • Louis Vuitton
    Louis Vuitton
    Louis Vuitton Malletier – commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton , or shortened to LV – is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes,...

  • Emporio Armani
    Giorgio Armani
    Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer, particularly noted for his menswear. He is known today for his clean, tailored lines. He formed his company, Armani, in 1975, and by 2001 was acclaimed as the most successful designer to come out of Italy, with an annual turnover of $1.6 billion and a...

  • Tiffany & Co
    Bulgari is an Italian jeweler and luxury goods retailer which has been owned by the French firm LVMH since October 2011. The trademark is usually written "BVLGARI" in the classical Latin alphabet , and is derived from the surname of the company's Greek founder, Sotirio Voulgaris...

  • Giorgio Armani
  • Ralph Lauren
    Ralph Lauren
    Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer and business executive; best known for his Polo Ralph Lauren clothing brand.-Early life:...

  • TAG Heuer
    TAG Heuer
    TAG Heuer is a Swiss luxury watchmaker known for its sports watches and chronographs. It is a division of luxury goods company LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton. The company motto is "Swiss Avant-Garde Since 1860"...

  • Oroton
    Oroton is an Australian luxury fashion accessories company known for its leather handbags. Oroton is owned by the OrotonGroup which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has held the license for the Polo Ralph Lauren in Australia and New Zealand for 2 decades. .-History:Oroton was...

  • Paspaley Pearls
  • Harrolds
  • Saba
  • Henry Bucks
  • Dymocks
    Dymocks Booksellers
    Dymocks booksellers is a bookstore chain found in Australia. It currently has 73 stores in Australia, 7 in New Zealand and 13 in Hong Kong.- History :...

  • Haigh's Chocolates
    Haigh's Chocolates
    Haigh's Chocolates is a company selling high quality chocolate products to customers in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. The company is based in Adelaide, South Australia, where it was founded in 1915 by Alfred E. Haigh. Haigh's conducts free tours of its factory on Greenhill...

  • Lindt Chocolat Café

Other retailers with a presence on Collins Street include Gucci
The House of Gucci, better known simply as Gucci , is an Italian fashion and leather goods label, part of the Gucci Group, which is owned by French company PPR...

, Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo was a Florentine and Italian shoe designer. He worked with many Hollywood stars in the 1920s, before returning to Italy to found the eponymous company making unique hand-made footwear. His scientific and creative approach to shoes spawned many innovations such as the wedge heel...

, Ermenegildo Zegna
Ermenegildo Zegna
Ermenegildo Zegna is a leading Italian fashion house, specialing in men's clothing. Founded in 1910, it is now managed by the fourth generation of the Zegna family and remains in family ownership. As well as producing suits for its own labels, it manufactures suits for labels such as Gucci, Yves...

, Bally
Bally Shoe
The Bally Shoe company was founded as "Bally & Co" high fashion in 1851 by Carl Franz Bally and his brother Fritz in the basement of their family home in Schönenwerd in the Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland.-Business:...

, Max Mara
Max Mara
MaxMara, or The House of MaxMara, is a luxury Italian fashion house known for its ready-to-wear clothing. Established in 1951 in Reggio Emilia by Achille Maramotti...

, Hermès
Hermès International S.A., or simply Hermès is a French high fashion house established in 1837, today specializing in leather, lifestyle accessories, perfumery, luxury goods, and ready-to-wear...

, Hugo Boss
Hugo Boss
Hugo Ferdinand Boss was the founder of clothing company Hugo Boss.-Early life:Boss was born in Metzingen, Germany. After completing his apprenticeship and one year of employment, he founded his own company in Metzingen in 1923.-Support of Nazism:Boss joined the Nazi Party in 1931, two years before...

, Dior, Escada
Escada is an international luxury fashion group in women's designer clothing. The company has a presence in about 60 different countries. Its main sales markets are North America, western and eastern Europe and Asia. It filed bankruptcy in August 2009, and was acquired by Megha Mittal, in November...

, Georg Jensen
Georg Jensen
Georg Arthur Jensen was a Danish silversmith.Born in 1866, Jensen was the son of a knife grinder in the town of Raadvad just to the north of Copenhagen. Jensen began his training in goldsmithing at the age of 14 in Copenhagen...

, Rolex
Rolex SA is a Swiss watchmaking manufacturer of high-quality, luxury wristwatches. Rolex watches are popularly regarded as status symbols and BusinessWeek magazine ranks Rolex No.71 on its 2007 annual list of the 100 most valuable global brands...

 and Jan Logan.

Major shopping centres include Collins Place
Collins Place
Collins Place is a shopping and office complex in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Built in 1981, it comprises two office buildings and a shopping mall in between...

, Block Arcade
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...

, Georges on Collins, Collins 234, Australia on Collins and Centreway.

Major hotels

There are many hotels located on and around Collins Street. Major hotels include Sofitel
Sofitel is a luxury hotel chain managed by Accor, which opened its first property in Strasbourg in 1964. Its first overseas opening in Minneapolis, USA was in 1974. In 1995 Sofitel had 100 hotels in 40 countries and employed 12500 people....

 Melbourne, The Grand Hyatt
Hyatt Hotels Corporation , is an international operator of hotels.Hyatt Center is the headquarters for Hyatt corporation...

, Westin and the InterContinental
InterContinental is a brand of upscale luxury hotels, founded by Pan American World Airways, under Juan Trippe, and now owned by InterContinental Hotels Group. The chain operates over 200 hotels and resorts in approximately 75 nations.-History:...

 Melbourne at the Rialto. A Sheraton
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts is Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide's largest and second oldest brand . Starwood's headquarters are in White Plains, New York.-Sheraton history:...

 will open in 2013.

Public art

One of the most popular statues in Melbourne, Larry La Trobe
Larry La Trobe
Larry La Trobe is the name given to a popular, cast bronze statue of a dog situated on the northern end of Melbourne’s City Square...

 created by artist Pamela Irving
Pamela Irving
Pamela Irving is a prominent Australian Visual artist specialising in bronze, ceramic and mosaic sculptures as well as printmaking and copper etchings...

, faces Collins Street from the northern end of Melbourne City Square.


As Melbourne's commercial and former shopping centre, Collins Street possesses some of Melbourne's best examples of Victorian era architecture.

Large churches include the Collins Street Baptist Church
Collins Street Baptist Church
Collins Street Baptist Church is a Baptist church in central Melbourne, Australia. Founded on this site in 1845, it is the oldest Baptist church in Victoria...

 (1845), the Scot's Presbyterian Church
Scots' Church, Melbourne
The Scots' Church, a Presbyterian church in Melbourne, Australia, was the first Presbyterian Church to be built in the Port Phillip District . It is located in Collins Street and is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Australia...

 (1874) and the St Michael's Uniting Church (1866).

Significant commercial buildings include Alston's Corner (1914) by Nahum Barnet
Nahum Barnet
Nahum Barnet was an architect working in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia during the Victorian and Edwardian periods....

 is an excellent surviving example of Edwardian architecture, while the Block Arcade by D.C Askew (1893) is an excellent example of high Victorian mannerist architecture.

Towards the financial end are some great examples of high Victorian gothic architecture or "Cathedrals of Commerce". They include William Pitt's
William Pitt (architect)
William Pitt born in Melbourne was an architect, public servant and politician working in Victoria, Australia in the later part of the 19th century and early 20th century....

 Venetian Gothic style Old Stock Exchange (1888), William Wardell
William Wardell
William Wilkinson Wardell was a Civil Engineer and Architect, notable not only for his work in Australia, the country to which he emigrated in 1858, but also for having a successful career as a surveyor, and an ecclesiastical architect in England and Scotland before his departure.In Australia,...

's Gothic Bank (1883) which features some of Melbourne's finest interiors and A.C Goode House designed by Wright, Reed & Beaver (1891).

The old Commonwealth Bank of Australia Banking domed Chamber exists within the post modern 333 Collins Street tower. It was designed by Lloyd Tayler and Alfred Dunn and built in 1891.

Some of Australia's tallest buildings are along Collins Street, including the Rialto Towers
Rialto Towers
The Rialto Towers is the second-tallest reinforced concrete building and the tallest office building in the Southern Hemisphere, when measured to its roof...

, Collins Place
Collins Place
Collins Place is a shopping and office complex in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Built in 1981, it comprises two office buildings and a shopping mall in between...

 towers 1 & 2, Nauru House, 120 Collins Street
120 Collins Street
120 Collins Street is a skyscraper in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Built from 1989 to 1991 and comprises 50 levels of office accommodation and 4 levels of plant.The building was designed by architectural firm Hassell, in association with Daryl Jackson...

 and 101 Collins Street
101 Collins Street
101 Collins Street is a skyscraper located in Melbourne, Australia. The 57 storey building was completed in 1991 under the design by Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd...

 and ANZ World Headquarters (at 380 Collins Street, which is integrated into the old Stock Exchange and Gothic Bank).


The Melbourne Club
Melbourne Club
The Melbourne Club is a male only club, established in 1839 and located at 36-50 Collins Street, Melbourne; adjacent to the women-only Lyceum Club. The club is made up of approximately 1500 members; admission being by invitation only...

 is on Collins Street. The renaissance revival style buildings were designed by Leonard Terry and built in 1845.

The Reserve Bank of Australia
Reserve Bank of Australia
The Reserve Bank of Australia came into being on 14 January 1960 as Australia's central bank and banknote issuing authority, when the Reserve Bank Act 1959 removed the central banking functions from the Commonwealth Bank to it....

's Victorian branch is located on Collins Street. Its 1960 buildings were once the national office for the bank.

Most of the global investment banks such as Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

 and Lazard
Lazard Ltd is the parent company of Lazard Group LLC, a global, independent investment bank with approximately 2,300 employees in 42 cities across 27 countries throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, Central and South America...

 have their Melbourne headquarters located on Collins Street, with the majority in the prestigious 101 Collins Street. This contributes to the reputation that Collins Street enjoys to this day.


Trams in Melbourne
The Melbourne tramway network is a major form of public transport in Melbourne, the capital city of the state of Victoria, Australia. , the network consisted of of track, 487 trams, 28 routes, and 1,773 tram stops. It was therefore the largest urban tramway network in the world, ahead of the...

(routes 48, 109 and 112) also run down Collins Street, mainly to Melbourne's eastern suburbs and the Docklands precinct.
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