Located between Elizabeth and Swanston streets, Sugden Place extends north from Little Collins Street. It was named pre-1856, possibly after William Johnson Sugden, Chief of Melbourne's City Police who, after retiring in 1848, became the licensee of the Royal Mail Hotel.
Sugden Place, which was sometimes also referred to as Sugden Alley, was a busy laneway in 1860. It contained various merchants-boot makers, tobacconists, wine and spirit importers-as well as a restaurant, billiard rooms and a bowling gallery. The Union Hotel and the City Hotel were also located on this lane. In 1935, Sugden Place was home to the Mason's Buildings, which housed businesses such as a fancy goods importer, toy makers, a hat renovator, the Topsy Tea Rooms and the Horace Acfield orchestral music library. In 2002-2003, the lane was the site of David Murphy and Cameron Robbins' art installation 'The Weather Harp' as part of the City of Melbourne's Laneway Commissions program.