|Also known as||R. A. Ekman & Sons||Source: from the old photo|
|Builder||Robert Lemon – Barry Street Carlton|
Timelapse Building Images
La Cassa Del Bambino.
North Melbourne Library, Karl Halla photographer
Image held by North Melbourne Library. Possibly from an illustrated magazine. Ekman’s importers, drapers and coffee palace was located on the corner of Victoria and Roden Streets in West Melbourne. It became a guest house and was scheduled for demolition in the 1970s before being burnt down.
North Melbourne Library
Photograph of Victoria Street, North Melbourne, ca. 1880. Shows shops including R.A. Ekman & Sons and the North & West Melbourne Coffee Palace, as well as horse drawn vehicles on both sides of road.
State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69376
- 1895 MMBW map
- Compiled Crown Record Plan
- First crown land purchaser – Mr. E. Greig, lot 7 section L of Hotham.
Notice of intent to build.
Street: Victoria & Roden.
Number: 2302. Date 26/7/1886
Owner: R. A. Ekman
Builder: Robert Lemon
Other significant building works carried out by Robert Lemon.
Subsequent Building Alterations
This image was taken c 1972. Around this time the building was to be demolished but was burnt down in fairly suspicious circumstances.
The site is currently owned by Melbourne City Council and used as a public car park.
North Melbourne Library
Heritage Significance and Listings
|Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes|
1888 Reinhold Alexander Ekman and Sons, advertisement.
North Melbourne Advertiser
Mr. Reinhold Alexander Ekman was baptised in Stockholm Sweden on the 5th of May 1833.
He emigrated to the Port Phillip district sometime before marrying his wife Bridget Mary Hogan in 1861.
Bridget Mary Hogan is believed to have arrived onboard the ship “Ocean Home” that sailed from Liverpool England in August 1860 with 264 government assisted, female immigrants from Ireland. Bridget was listed in the ship’s records, being 21 years of age, a servant.
There was a Mary Hogan baptised in Kilcommon, Tipperary, Ireland on the 14th of July 1840 to parents Patrick Hogan and Johanna Kennedy from Irish records. Bridget Mary Ekman nee Hogan’s record at death in 1920 only stated her mother’s name as Johanna, it is believed the above were her birth parents.
The Ekman’s lived and operated their first furniture business venture in Little Collins and Russell Streets Melbourne.
At that time the colony expanded from the enormous wealth created during the Victorian Gold Rush. Reinhold’s business prospered to such an extent that he contracted the architectural services of Mr. J. G. Jowett, to design a flagship 3-story furniture factory, drapery warehouse, coffee palace and retail store on the corner of Victoria & Roden Streets in West Melbourne in July 1886.
One might say Ekman was the “Harvey Norman” of his day.
The builder was Mr. Robert Lemon of Barry Street Carlton.
Reinhold and Bridget Ekman had seven children in Melbourne.
Mr. James George Jowett, of Stanley Street West Melbourne is noted for designing the Railway Hotel at 118-126 Ireland Street West Melbourne as well as other notable buildings in Carlton and West Melbourne.
PROV, www.bdm.vic.gov.au, Burchett index, The Argus and Sands & McDougall Directory
If you know more about any earlier families who had a direct connection to the previous Victoria era period shop on this site in the past, we encourage you to contact us and share their stories and old photos today.
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