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Cosgrave Lane

Cosgrave Lane leads south from Little Bourke Street to Bourke Street, just west of King Street. In 1860, it contained two boarding houses. By 1895, it had been renamed Fitzroy Lane, and was dominated by iron foundries. The lane also serviced the Fitzroy Arms Hotel on the corner of King Street and Little Bourke Street, and the Australian Coffee Palace on King Street. Coffee palaces were developed by the nineteenth-century temperance movement, but these grand hotels were often financially unsuccessful. The Australian Coffee Palace would have felt this pressure more than most, suffering the competition not only of the licensed hotel on the corner, but from the much grander Federal Coffee Palace just two blocks away. By 1915, the laneway had returned to the name Cosgrave Lane, which it has retained ever since. It currently borders the CitiPower House and the shops of King Street, and offers no facility for pedestrian access.

Edwina Byrne

Sands & McDougall’s commercial and general Melbourne directory, Sands & McDougall, Melbourne, 1860. Details
MMBW Detail Plan, 737, City of Melbourne, image no bw0417, 1895; MMBW Melbourne Sewerage Plans 1890s - 1950s; State Library of Victoria. Details