THE HERITAGE WALL
As part of the evolution of Melbourne Quarter, we’re giving an important piece of the city’s history new life with the restoration of one of its most significant, heritage-listed walls.
Constructed in 1890 by Victorian Railways, the 174-metre retaining wall on Flinders Street will be secured, preserved and integrated into Melbourne Quarter as part of a new grand porte-cochère arrival experience on Flinders Street. Its design has been informed by leading heritage experts Lovell Chen, the precinct’s residential architects Fender Katsalidis and landscape architects Aspect Oculus.
A wall with an interesting story to tell, prior to the Second World War, it was a place where workers would congregate in the hope of receiving a day’s work at the docks. Also one of the sites most closely linked to the foundation of Melbourne, the wall marks the original location of Batman’s Hill where city founder John Batman built his home in 1835.
Once restorations are complete, new openings through the wall will give the public access to the precinct’s retail laneway, which will connect Collins and Flinders Streets. For the first time, bluestone components of the wall will also become publicly visible, allowing for a greater understanding of the wall’s design, construction and original retaining purpose.
As we acknowledge the site’s colourful heritage as much as its future, the restoration of the Flinders Street wall is one of the ways we’re breathing life into the precinct. Our hope is that by repositioning the wall in a new context, it will remain for many future generations to appreciate.