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Australian Building

One of Australia's first skyscrapers, the Australian Building at 49 Elizabeth Street on the north-west corner of Flinders Lane was constructed between 1888 and 1890. At a height of around 46 m from pavement level to the roof of the top floor, it was Australia's tallest building until 1912, and Melbourne's highest office building until construction of ICI House in 1960. Promoted by businessman and politician Frederick Thomas Derham, the building was designed by Henry Kemp of architects Oakden, Addison & Kemp, in association with J. Beswicke, and was built for the Australian Property and Investment Co. Ltd by James Anderson of North Fitzroy. The 12-storey structure, which featured advanced engineering and novel Waygood patent hydraulic lifts, was the epitome of the Queen Anne style in Australia, its fa├žade featuring banded red brick and masonry above, and contrasting red Gabo Island and grey Harcourt granite at ground level. Demolished in 1980, the Australian Building was the epitome of the architecture of Marvellous Melbourne.

Andrew May