Melbourne's first commercial car park, Victoria Car Park, designed by architect Marcus Barlow was built in 1938. It has two street frontages. In Russell Street (above) and Little Collins Street (below) both in Art Deco style.
The car park is in the same block as Scots Church and is now owned by Scots Church Properties Trust who have long sought to demolish the car park to allow commercial re-development of this prominent city corner.
Despite being listed by Heritage Victoria in 2002 the Church was eventually successful in 2007 in obtaining permission from then Minister for Planning, Justin Madden, for the development of a tower block that would incorporate the Little Collins Street car park frontage but also the demolition of the Russell Street frontage. The Art Deco & Modernism Society unsuccessfully fought to save the whole building.
It is four years since former Minister Madden made his ruling so we have enjoyed this Marcus Barlow design for that time but alas it won't be around for much longer. Certainly not as it is now. So if you happen to be in Melbourne in the next short while take a hike up to Russell Street and have a good look before it disappears.
MELBOURNE ART DECO
In 2009 Robin Grow published a book on Melbourne Art Deco, with images largely supplied by David Thompson. The book quickly sold out and he is pleased to say that it has now been re-published by Brolga Press, with updates, errors corrected and a new cover.
Best of all, it is selling for about $25 in the shops and on-line. Art Deco & Modernism Society members can purchase a copy from me for $22, (includes postage within Australia). For overseas orders please email for postage rates. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested, and advise if you would like the book to be dedicated and/or signed.