488 La Trobe Street

488 La Trobe Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
image source: 1895 MMBW plan

Also known as
Previous Address
Constructed 9/12/1850
Style
Architect Michael Corcoran – storekeeper – Elizabeth St
Builder Michael Corcoran

Timelapse Building Images

Photo shows building known as 488-494 Latrobe Street.


Land Details

  1. 1895 MMBW plan
  2. Compiled Crown Record Plan showing Mr. Michael Corcoran was the first Crown land purchaser of this site in 1850.

Building Details

Notice of intent to build.

Street: Latrobe

Number: 507. Date 9/12/1850

Owner & Builder: Michael Corcoran – storekeeper – Elizabeth St

Fee: £3.3.0

Type: House six large rooms, kitchen, panrty and shed with neat flower garden in front.

Other significant building works carried out by Michael Corcoran below:

76183 Corcoran, Michael – storekeeper – Elizabeth St Melbourne VIC Houses Corcoran, Michael 1850 12 9 507
76254 Corcoran, Michael Melbourne VIC Warehouses Corcoran, Michael – Little Lonsdale St 1854 09 8 1607
76940 Corcoran, Michael – Latrobe St Melbourne VIC Houses Corcoran, Michael 1857 03 19 214

Burchett Index


Subsequent Building Alterations

Edward J. and Samuel Spink workshop, also J. B. Watson’s stores, later
Molloy and Co, hide and skin merchants.

Street: Latrobe Street west of King

Date: 1882

Architect: Thomas Watts

Builder: Kay Noble of Erin Street Richmond

Owner: Spink Brothers, wholesale and retail tinsmiths, jam and fruit preservers of Melbourne.

Type: Factory store

Other significant building works carried out by Kay Noble below:

Architects Owner Suburb Building Type Builder Build Date (YYYY MM DD) Reg #
  Webster East Melbourne Houses Noble, Kay – 41 Berkley St Carlton 1869 05 28 3253
  Noble, Kay East Melbourne Houses Noble, Kay 1876 10 25 6972
Reed & Barnes Mowbray, Rowan & Hicks Melbourne Shops; Warehouses Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1880 05 29 8377
Watts, – Campbell & Box Melbourne Sports Buildings Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1881 09 3 8908
Watts, Thomas Spink Bros Latrobe Street Melbourne Factories Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1882 07 17 9285
Henderson & Smart – Collins St east McCracken, R & Co Melbourne Buildings Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1882 10 14 29
  Noble, Kay East Melbourne Houses Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1883 01 29 153
  Noble, Kay East Melbourne Houses Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1883 06 21 351
Williams, Frank Australian Widows Fund Assurance Society Melbourne Buildings Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1884 08 14 1027
Twentyman & Askew Benjamin, L Melbourne Warehouses Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1885 05 23 1535
Gale, – Nicholas & Hicks Melbourne Houses; Shops Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1885 11 25 1866
Wight & Lucas Coffee Tavern Co Melbourne Shops Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1886 03 27 2088
Reed, Henderson & Smart Petty, (late) W – Trustees Melbourne Office Buildings; Shops Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1886 05 17 2173
Wight & Lucas Coffee Tavern Co Melbourne Shops Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1886 06 22 2240
Wormal, D Freehold Investment & Banking Co Melbourne Banks; Hotels; Office Buildings; Shops Noble, Kay – Erin St Richmond 1887 03 25 2711

source: Burchett Index

Architectural Features



    No Entries Found


Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes

Statement of Significance

What is significant?

Builder Kay Noble of Erin Street Richmond erected this factory-workshop in 1882 for the Spink Brothers, wholesale and retail tinsmiths, jam and fruit preservers of Melbourne. Noted architect, Thomas Watts, was the designer. The Spink Brothers’ tin works was at this address and their preserving works at La Trobe Street East. By 1890, Edward John Spink and Samuel Spink were declared insolvent due to Insufficient capital, arising from having sold goods too cheaply to compete; Samuel was dead by 1897. The JB Watson Trust and later Joseph W Ellis were the next major owners, leasing the building to firms such as Sass and Cockram.

The complex has developed over time with the 1895 plan showing the probable 1880s extent. Now the building extends further into the block with new fibre cement sheet clad sawtooth roofing abutting and replacing the original roofline, possibly for use by Molloy and Co, hide and skin merchants or C. N. Meyers, paper merchants.

The architect Thomas Watts was responsible for a number of large Victorian-era commercial projects including part of Felton Grimwade and Company’s early chemical works, West Melbourne, and the now demolished Robb’s Building (similar elevation to this building). The firm has a number of places listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and some 269 entries in the Australian Architecture Index.

Victorian Heritage Register examples associated with Watts include:
• Dalmeny House etc 21, 23 Queensberry Street, Carlton, erected in 1888 by the Paterson family;
• Malvern House Willoby Avenue, Glen Iris built in 1891-2;
• Bontharambo Homestead Boorhaman Road, Wangaratta;
• Prince’s Park Grandstand Park Street, Maryborough;
• CSR Complex Whitehall Street, Yarraville, 1870s wing; and
• Bank Of Victoria Camp Street, Beechworth.

This building was identified in the Central Activities District (CAD) Conservation Study of 1985, with the note that it possessed `high integrity for type and scale in the CAD’. This integrity has been reduced since.

Contributory elements include:
• 2 storey cemented parapeted Italian Renaissance Revival style façade;
• simple cornice and entablature;

• double-hung sash windows to upper level with cemented architraves;
• double-hung sash windows to east side wall;
• red brick saw-tooth rear wings potential early 20th century visible on west;
• original side wall, fenestration and roofline on east side (loading doors changed); and
• ground level segmentally arched openings, with identified significant window joinery and openings extended to near ground level since 1985.

Changes to ground level as above, former lobby door entry changed since 1985; bricks painted over east side wall, openings and loading doors changed. Sawtooth wall and roofing added.

How is it significant?

Edward J and Samuel Spink’s tinsmith workshop is significant historically and aesthetically to West Melbourne.

Why is it significant?

Edward J. and Samuel Spink’s tinsmith workshop is significant.
• Historically, as an early and relatively well-preserved industrial building in the Melbourne Central Activities District, linked with jam making, fruit preserving and the Spink brothers; and
• Aesthetically, as a custom workshop design by renowned architect, Thomas Watts in the prevailing commercial style.

source: Melbourne Planning Scheme, West Melbourne Heritage Review 2016. An incorporated document in the Melbourne planning Scheme pursuant to
section 6(2)(j) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987

Owners

From To Owner More Info Data Source
to date Private source: Hatcher Index
1882 Edward J. and Samuel Spink, tinsmiths and fruit preservers source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher in 2020
1850 Mr. Michael Corcoran, first Crown land purchaser source: 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 source: Hatcher Index

Residents

From To Resident More Info Data Source
to date Private source Hatcher Index
1929 1933 C.N. Meyers, paper merch source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher in 2020
1910 1928 Molloy & Co., skin & hides source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher in 2020
1905 1909 McDonald & Molloy, hide and skins source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher in 2020
1903 1904 George Synnot, skin merch source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher in 2020
1899 1900 F. Edmondson, bag maker source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher in 2020
1897 1898 Richard Haworth & Fred Edmondson source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher in 2020
1885 1885 Edward J. and Samuel Spink, tinsmiths and fruit preservers source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher in 2020

Social History

No Entries Found


Context and Streetscape

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

Streetscape

Other Information

Copyright status: This work is in copyright.
Conditions of use: Use of this work allowed provided the creators name and Hotham History Project Inc are acknowledged.

If you or someone you know has any more to add either by old photos or stories of this area, please contact us today. Email info@hothamhistory.org.au