23 Hawke Street

23 Hawke Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
photographer: Stephen Hatcher, 2019

Also known as Oliver’s row houses (15 to 23) now known as the Miami Hotel. Source: Hatcher Index
Previous Address 10 Hawke Street (before 1889) Source: Hatcher Index
Constructed (1st) 1853. (2nd) 1972
Builder (1st) Colin Campbell. (2nd) unknown

Timelapse Building Images


This site originally contained 6 Victorian terrace homes.

Photographer Stephen Hatcher

John T Collins 1907-2001, photographer, held by State Libary of Victoria

John T Collins 1907-2001, photographer, held by State Libary of Victoria

Land Details

  1. 1853 Crown Land Sale. – Colin Campbell.
  2. 1895 MMBW Map

Building Details

No Entries Found

Subsequent Building Alterations

The six historic 1853 terrace houses were demolished after 1969 then the existing 3 story hotel was constructed around 1972.

A further addition was made to the hotel adding a cafe at the front around 2017/2018.

Architectural Features

    No Entries Found

Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes

The desirable 1850s heritage dwelling that once existed on this site, home to many families over its life time was demolished sometime after 1965.


From To Owner More Info Data Source
1975 to date Private Hatcher Index
1923 1966 Oliver Estate Hatcher Index
1911 1922 Jessie S Oliver Hatcher Index
1910 1910 Thomas Oliver Hatcher Index
1908 1909 John Oliver Hatcher Index
1905 1907 Oliver’s Trustees Hatcher Index
1902 1904 James Oliver Trust Hatcher Index
1873 1901 James Oliver Hatcher Index
1853 1872 Colin Campbell (purchased land) Hatcher Index
abt 40 thousand years earlier 1835 Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Victoria Hatcher Index


From To Resident More Info Data Source
1971 to date Private Hatcher Index
1970 1970 Odeon Hotels P/L (vacant land) Hatcher Index
1967 1969 Production Plant P/L Hatcher Index
1943 1967 Joseph O’Brien http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22394874 Hatcher Index
1940 1942 Michael Francis Considine Hatcher Index
1932 1939 Walter Mears Hatcher Index
1923 1931 Mrs Emma Greene Hatcher Index
1922 1922 Edmund Shanahan Hatcher Index
1913 1921 Mary Collier Hatcher Index
1911 1912 Thomas Stevens Hatcher Index
1898 1910 Mary Collier Hatcher Index
1895 1896 Patrick and Mrs Bridget D’Arcy http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article220540650 Hatcher Index
1981 1891 George Cummings Hatcher Index
1881 1881 William Radford Hatcher Index
1880 1880 James W Smith Hatcher Index
1875 1879 David Morris Hatcher Index
1882 1890 Willaim Duthie Hatcher Index

Social History

1974. Jens Peter Anderson

The Argus

1946. J O’Brien

The Argus

1941. Theodosia Edwards or Dunn

The Age

1936. Blue Overcoat

The Age

1920. Herbert John Dunn & Lilian Catherine Dunn

The Age

1903. Rooms.

The Age

1897. J. H. Adamson.


1896. Mrs Darcy, certificated midwife.

The Age

1895. Patrick Darcy.

Weekly Times

1894. Help wanted.

The Age

1892. Respectable Tradesmen.

The Age

1891. Vacancy

The Age

1890. German lady.

The Age

1890. Mrs Ripper.

The Age

1888. Australian Stamps. Blackshaw.

The Age

1880. Comfortable.

The Age

1879. Morris’s Imperial

Melbourne Leader

1879. James W. Smith

The Argus

1873. Chinchilla Muff.

The Argus

1872. Dressmaker wanted.

The Argus

Context and Streetscape


North and West Melbourne Heritage Precinct and the HO3 (North & West Melbourne Precinct)

This property resides within the municipality of the City of Melbourne. We respectfully acknowledge it is on the traditional land of the Kulin Nation.
source: https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/history-city-of-melbourne.pdf
historical map source: https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/search-discover/explore-collections-format/maps/maps-melbourne-city-suburbs

This information must be verified with the relevant planning or heritage authority.


Hawke Street and the surrounding streetscapes in part, were indirectly influenced by news about the discovery of Gold by Dunlop and Regan in Victoria at Poverty Point, Ballarat in 1851. News of that find led to a great influx of migrants arriving in old Melbourne, seeking fortune and a better life, but housing in old Melbourne was in short supply. The sheer volume of arrivals led to pressure on authorities to expand the size of the colonial settlement, described by Albert Mattingley in his recollections of The Early History of North Melbourne, in 1916.

In 1852, government surveyor Charles Laing’s ‘Plan of the City of Melbourne and its Extension Northwards’ helped alleviate dramatically the pressure for more housing.

Vacant building allotments were pegged, surveyed, and allocated for sale towards the north, on La-Trobe, Adderley, Jeffcott, Spencer, Batman, King, Dudley, Rosslyn, Stanley, Roden and Hawke Street. Blocks of land were auctioned, with Hawke Street land first offered for sale in May, 1853.

By October 1853, W.M. Tennent wrote in the Argus newspaper:

 “Hawke Street is most desirably situated, is in a most healthy and elevated position and commands extensive views of the shipping in the bay and of all surrounding districts”

The race to be the first to have an influence on Hawke streetscape was won in July 1853 by Scotsman, Colin Campbell, who created two stone and brick rendered dwellings and a timber workshop at 19, 21 and 23 Hawke. He was quickly followed a week later by Thomas Stevens who built four wooden cottages on the corner of Hawke and King Streets. Steven’s wooden dwellings were later replaced in 1920 by S. J. Marshall’s architect- designed pharmaceutical laboratory while Campbell’s buildings were demolished in 1972 when the three-storey red brick Miami hotel was created in their place.

In the 1890s, the Hawke residential streetscape began to slowly change with the introduction of industry. The largest of the early industrial buildings that had moved out of Melbourne’s CBD, made its new home on the corner of Hawke and Adderley Streets.  It was designed by architects Oakden, Addison & Kemp and built in 1889 by John Dunton for Brisco & Co. who were cast iron merchants of Elizabeth Street Melbourne.

At the most southern end, an 1868 resident and engineer, Gideon James, and his wife Catherine, once lived at 207 Hawke while Gideon operated the Avon Tool Works business located next door at 199 Hawke until 1909. Their double- fronted Victorian home and garden and nearby workshop both were demolished in the 1920s and replaced by a two-storey red brick industrial building that has since been converted into 12 townhouses.

The southern end of the Hawke streetscape in the late 1860s was also home to a handful of important greengrocer and butcher shops. Among their owners were names such as James Ibbetson, William Wood, and Mrs. Mary Ann Smith.

In 1881, the streetscape continued to change with the arrival of Miss. J. Hutchinson’s mantle & underclothing factory at 96 Hawke, and Francis Gillman, who lived and operated a boot factory at 62 Hawke. The streetscape continued evolving when both Victorian period homes and workshops were demolished and replaced Number 96 is now a park and number 62 is a modern red and cream brick construction built in the 1980s.

Following World War Two, the Hawke streetscape received a rush of extra industrial buildings, from the Spencer Street corner southwards. These factories made all manner of items from electric batteries to spark plugs and baby carriages, marketed nationwide.

In 1895, the street contained 89 Victorian era dwellings. Seven Federation dwellings followed soon after. As of 2022, Hawke Street has lost 43 heritage dwellings, removed from its streetscape forever.

Without stronger heritage protection laws, by the year 2150, the number of heritage dwellings in this streetscape potentially could face total obliteration.

The remaining historic dwellings on Hawke Street are important to the area because they are socially and historically significant buildings that retain private back yard gardens and they relate directly to the early development of West Melbourne.

The Hawke streetscape today contains a collection of outstanding Victorian and Federation dwellings, which are a particularly well-preserved group from important architectural periods in time. These dwellings are interspersed by some industrial buildings, with two early hotels predominantly on the southern side south of the Hawke and Spencer Street intersection.

The North and West Melbourne Precinct is of historical, social, and aesthetic/architectural significance to the local residents and to the City of Melbourne. It is of historical significance, as a predominantly Victorian-era precinct associated with the nineteenth century growth of Melbourne to its north and west.

The residents living in the heritage dwellings along the streetscape are impacted by a push to increase residential density through conversions of the two to three storey red brick industrial buildings into six to eight story blocks of flats, blocks that offer little or no onsite car parking or onsite garden space.

It is imperative existing heritage regulations within the wider built environment be strengthened and laws be strictly followed. All development that occurs in future on Hawke Street ought to be architecturally respectful of the existing style, low scale heights and the hand-crafted materials utilised in keeping with the historic style.

Some might say the residents of Hawke Street and the surrounding streets of greater Melbourne owe a debt of gratitude to the wise Victorian settlers who created the beautiful terrace homes found along these streetscapes of today.

Other Information


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