The Block Arcade
is one of the finest examples of a 19th Century shopping arcade.
It is renowned for its impressive etched glass roof with decorative
wrought iron and timber supports and has the largest mosaic floor
area in Australia. The complex is classified by the National Trust
and is on the register of the National Estate.
architect D.C. Askew for the financier Benjamin Fink, the arcade
was constructed in two sections in 1891 and 1893. It derived its
name from the tradition of "doing the block", or parading around
Melbourne's fashionable shopping streets.
The arcade was
restored and refurbished by the Buchan Group, which upgraded the complex to modern retail and commercial
standards while remaining faithful to the original Victorian vision.
The work involved the reinstatement of
original timber shopfronts, the repairing, cleaning, painting and
illuminating of the upper facades to Collins and Elizabeth Streets,
and the design of a new entry canopy for Elizabeth Street. A popular
venue within the arcade is the Hopetoun Tearooms.
Tours of the Arcade are run on Tuesdays & Thursdays. The two hour tour commences at 1:00pm and includes a short stop for Devonshire Tea. For bookings ring +61 3 9654 5244.