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Block Place

Block Place, once known as Carpenters Lane, diverges southwards from Little Collins Street parallel to Elizabeth Street. Carpenters Lane was privately owned in the 1890s, but the City Property Company gained permission to roof over the lane and thus create an under-cover access route between The Block and Royal Arcade. In 1895, the lane's entrance was marked by the Colonial Bank Hotel, directly opposite the Colonial Bank and Royal Arcade on Little Collins Street. It led shoppers directly to the Athenaeum Club on Collins Street by bisecting the two halves of The Block, from which it soon acquired its present, more prestigious name. This attempt to gain prestige by association was apparently successful, because Block Place was soon paved with asphalt over wooden blocks, rather than the rough cobblestones which passed for paving in lesser lanes. By 1920, Block Place contained shoe stores, stamp dealers, office fitters and dry cleaners. Many of these were contained within Block Place's Douglas House, now heritage listed, having been first occupied as early as 1839. More recently, Block Place has been extended to Collins Street through Block Court.

Edwina Byrne

Sands & McDougall’s commercial and general Melbourne directory, Sands & McDougall, Melbourne, 1920. Details
'Block Place, H7822, File 1719', in Victorian Heritage Register On-Line, 2000, http://www.doi.vic.gov.au/doi/hvolr.nsf. Details
Bate, Weston, Essential but unplanned: The story of Melbourne's lanes, State Library of Victoria and the City of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1994. Details
MMBW Detail Plan, 1012, City of Melbourne, image no bw0003, 1895; MMBW Melbourne Sewerage Plans 1890s - 1950s; State Library of Victoria. Details