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Drewery Lane

Drewery Lane is located between Elizabeth and Swanston streets, extending between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale streets. The name was changed in 1872 from Brewery to Drewery Lane. There are differing sources as to the origins of the name. According to the City of Melbourne Planning Scheme, it was named after the chemist Thomas Drewery, who was elected a City Councillor for Gipps Ward in 1851. According to historian Weston Bate, however, it was named after London's Drury Lane.

Drewery Lane contained a variety of businesses. For example, in 1892 it was the location of an India rubber clothing manufacturer, rubber stamp maker and a billiard maker. It is also the location of the heritage-listed Dovers Building (also called Sniders and Abrahams Warehouse). Located at number 7, it was constructed in 1909-10 by architect and engineer Hugh Ralston Crawford as a warehouse and factory for the firm of Sniders and Abrahams, Manufacturing Tobacconists, established in 1870. Originally a five-storey building, two extra storeys were added in 1938, also designed by Crawford. The building was the first in Australia to employ the Turner Mushroom System of flat-slab concrete floors, a new system designed in the USA in 1906. Not only does the Dovers Building remains one of the few surviving examples in the world of the Turner Mushroom System, it is a significant reminder of the size of the tobacco industry in turn-of-the-century Melbourne and the industrial character of this section of Melbourne. Drewery Lane also provided a right-of-way for several hotels in the late 1890s. The Brittania Hotel, located on the corner of Lonsdale Street, Bruen's Hotel, and Club Hotel, both on Swanston Street, all had rear entrances on Drewery Lane.

Alexandra Gerner

'Dovers Building, 7 Drewery Lane, Melbourne City - H0802, File number 605570', in Victorian Heritage Register On-Line, 2000, http://www.doi.vic.gov.au/doi/hvolr.nsf. Details
'Central Melbourne - Lanes C-D', in Amendment C105 - CBD Laneways Review, City of Melbourne, 2007, http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/info.cfm?top=195&pg=3065&bp=1902&coll=8. 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, 1018, City of Melbourne, 1895; MMBW Melbourne Sewerage Plans 1890s - 1950s; State Library of Victoria. Details