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Adamson Lane

The pitched lane near the corner of William and Flinders streets was unnamed in 1895, but had been designated Adamson Lane by 1915. The lane, in one of the oldest sectors of Melbourne, may well have existed for some time before this as a service lane to the Yarra Family Hotel in Flinders Street, which had catered to thirsty Melbourne residents since 1853. The lane was soon surrounded by hotels and storage sheds, and by 1915 several balconies overlooked the lane. Opposite Adamson Lane's William Street opening, an entire block was occupied by the Customs House (now the Immigration Museum), the Melbourne Harbor Trust, and the Marine Board of Victoria. In 1930, there were two car parks in Adamson Lane, as well as the Cecil Café and several shipping bodies, manufacturers and engineers. The lane thus retained the maritime and industrial flavour of early Melbourne until its destruction in 1964.

Edwina Byrne

Sands & McDougall’s commercial and general Melbourne directory, Sands & McDougall, Melbourne, 1860. Details
Bate, Weston, Essential but unplanned: The story of Melbourne's lanes, State Library of Victoria and the City of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1994. Details
Mary Lewis, 'A Key to Walter Woodbury’s Panorama', La Trobe Journal, vol. 65, August, 2000, p. 2000. Details