Photos from ten years ago: July 2011

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is July 2011.

Work on the new shopping centre in Myer's old Lonsdale Street store

Open House Melbourne

The last weekend of July is usually Open House Melbourne, so I did the rounds of places normally closed to the public.

First off, the underground Russell Place electrical substation.

Listening to our tour guide

Complete with mercury arc rectifiers.

Checking out the mercury arc rectifier

Hamer Hall, which was mid renovation.

All of the seats stripped out of Hamer Hall

The former Land Titles Office on Queen Street.

Three levels of fun inside the main strongroom

Toured the back of house areas of the State Library of Victoria.

Digging through the card catalogue

A rooftop garden at 278 Flinders Lane.

Origin Energy's rooftop garden atop 278 Flinders Lane

The Myer Mural Hall.

Mural Hall at Myer Melbourne

Melbourne’s first skyscraper – ICI House.

Ground floor lift lobby of ICI House, Melbourne

Up to the top of 50 Lonsdale Street.

Looking south-west over the low rise CBD shopping area

And down into the Royal Melbourne Hospital steam tunnels.

Following our tour guide along the tunnels

Trains and trams

One morning I was on my way to work, and found something odd – a V/Line train being pushed by a suburban electric train!

Driver of the Comeng waiting for the signal over the Viaduct

The V/Line train had run out of fuel at Footscray, so to keep things moving in the lead up to morning peak, it was pushed out of the way by the first train behind.

I found another public transport oddity down at Appleton Dock – a tram sitting on the back of a truck.

Flexity 113 on a low loader at Melbourne's Appleton Dock, awaiting the trip west to Adelaide

The Bombardier-built Flexity tram had just arrived from Germany by sea, and was ready to head for Adelaide to run on the Glenelg line.

But an everyday sight back in 2011 was ticket machines onboard Melbourne trams.

Intermediate section of a D2 class Combino tram: the one with four doors and the Metcard ticket machine

Removed following the decommissioning of the Metcard ticketing system in December 2012, it was originally planned to replace them with Myki machines, but the idea was abandoned in 2011.

Another then-unremarkable view was this one from Wurundjeri Way looking back towards Southern Cross Station.

View of the northern side of Southern Cross Station, from Wurundjeri Way

A pair of office towers now occupy the western roof of Southern Cross Station, the Regional Rail Link tracks now occupy the roadside, and the skyline behind is full of new apartment towers.


A forgettable building in the Melbourne CBD is 405 Bourke Street. Launched back in 2007 as ‘The Foundry’, by 2011 the shopping centre had been boarded up, the original developer having gone into liquidation.

Apartments at 405 Bourke Street

But a decade later things have changed – a new 43 storey tall office development has been built on the site, cantilevered 10 metres over the heritage listed building.

Another unremarkable building was the last remaining part of the West Gate Bridge toll plaza – the abandoned VicRoads control room in Port Melbourne.

Looking down the abandoned West Gate Bridge administration building

Located next door to the tensile membrane roofed service station.

Shell petrol station at the eastbound West Gate Bridge service centre

The site had just been sold to a developer, with demolition commencing a few months later.

Overgrown gardens outside the former West Gate Bridge Authority administration building

Warehouses now occupy the site.

Finally, another abandoned site I visited this month was the former Gilbertson’s Meatworks in Altona North.

Abandoned SBA Foods shop on Kyle Road

Empty for years, the site was finally cleared in 2012, and rezoned for residential development – with ‘Haven’ by Stockland and ‘The Fabric’ by Mirvac both under construction today.

And new construction

In 2011 demolition was well underway at the former Myer store on Lonsdale Street.

Looking out from Myer's Bourke Street store to the old Lonsdale Street store being gutted

The facade was still there.

Work on the new shopping centre in Myer's old Lonsdale Street store

But a wall of scaffolding was on the way up.

Facade of Myer's old Lonsdale Street store propped up for renovations

Ready to support the building.

Scaffolding towers over Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

While the guts were ripped out of the middle.

Looking out from Myer's Bourke Street store to the old Lonsdale Street store being gutted

Emporium Melbourne was then built on the site, opening to shoppers in 2014.


Here you can find the rest of my ‘photos from ten years ago‘ series.

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5 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: July 2011”

  1. Andrew John Purvis says:

    We came so close to being able to bring a live program for Open House in 2021. Stay tuned for Open House Bendigo later this year and a live program for Open House Melbourne in 2022.

  2. Paul Westcott says:

    Those mercury arc rectifiers are a wonderfully mysterious piece of equipment – very 1920s/30s sci-fi.

    What functions in the Melbourne CBD require DC power?

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