RBA are currently assisting with several projects at the VHR listed (H1960) Prahran Arcade at 282-284 Chapel Street Prahran, including adaptive reuse and some conservation works.

One of the key projects includes the return to the site of the pioneer wine retailer, Dan Murphy’s, who established themselves during the mid-20th century and eventually took over the whole ground premises for some years.

Above image: Dan Murphys circa 1960-1980

The Prahran Arcade, also currently home to JB Hi-Fi, is of architectural, historical and social significance at the state levelIts ambitious scale and opulent facade symbolise the confident exuberance of commerce in Melbourne during the boom of the late 1880s. Architecturally, it is a representative example of the Victorian Second Empire style applied to a suburban commercial building.

Above Photo: Prahran Arcade 1887

The Arcade was designed by local architect George McMullen, and constructed by James McMullen, for Elizabeth Delaney in 1890. It initially incorporated a central arcade containing nearly 30 shops at ground level and a hotel and Turkish Baths in the upper levels. With the economic
depression of the 1890s, low tenancy rates ensued. During the early 20th century, it was re-named the Centreway Arcade (evident in the floor at the
entrance to JB Hi-fi) and the shop fronts were refitted in a contemporary Edwardian/Federation period manner. The 1930s economic depression resulted in another period of low tenancy, from which there was no further recovery. Eventually the internal shopfronts  were removed and other changes made.

RBA is providing heritage advice and assisting with heritage permits for the building’s adaptation, including sympathetic installation of HVAC and  providing equitable access according to DDA regulations.

08 August 2016

Related Posts

12 September 2018

Relocation of the Former Methodist Church, Plenty

The modest former Methodist Church on Yan Yean Road, Plenty, was constructed of timber c1920s. The building is historically significant for its long association with…

21 May 2018

Repairs to Parkville Church

RBA are busily documenting conservation works to the landmark Former College Church (VHR H0394) on Royal Parade, including repairs to the Oamaru limestone, brickwork, and…

20 March 2018

Mortar Bees

An intriguing case of mortar bee attack is evident at the former Public Works Office, Bendigo. The building is now part of the Queen Elizabeth…

08 February 2018

Former West Bourke Club Hotel

In the course of carrying out a building condition assessment at the Celtic Club building on the corner of Queen and La Trobe streets, a small fragment of Melbourne’s past has been discovered.