573 Spencer Street

573 Spencer Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003

Also known as Short’s Row houses
Previous Address 375 Spencer before Melbourne council re numbered the street
Constructed 3/7/1856
Style Victorian, Early : 1840-1860
Builder Alexander Edward Short

Timelapse Building Images


Blended image.


Three buildings in this old photograph were once owned by Mr. Andrew Edward Short, 573, 575 then 579 Spencer (once called Short’s Hotel) on right hand side, on Spencer Street in West Melbourne.


Land Details

1. MMBW map

2. Compiled Crown Record Plan

3. First crown land purchaser was a Mr. A. E. Short, lot 10 section 56.

Alexander Edward Short was born, the sixth of nine children, around 1831 in London to parents Thomas Short and Elizabeth Sarah Hastings. He married Jane Allen in 1852 at St John’s Church in Newtown Hobart at the age of 21, while she was 16. Jane Allen was born in 1836 at Hobart town to father John Allen. Alexander and Jane had eleven children, all born in the district of Port Phillip between 1856 to 1880.

Sometime around the early 1880’s Mr. Alexander E Short J.P. of Tambo Park Preston was elected as a councilor for the Gowerville district of the Shire of Jika

Building Details

Notice of intent to build.

Street: Spencer-near Hawke Street.

Number: 462. Date 3/7/1856

Owner & Builder: Alexander Edward Short – Spencer Street.

Fee: 1.10.0

Type: house, with a private back yard garden.

Other significant building works carried out by Alexander Short can be found here.

Burchett Index

Subsequent Building Alterations

Mr. Short’s brick house was demolished when the Hotel next door expanded.

Architectural Features

    No Entries Found

Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes


From To Owner More Info Data Source
1856 Alexander Edward Short


From To Resident More Info Data Source
1861 John Leach

Social History

1895 from the MMBW map we can see Short’s Hotel had a name change to the Recreation Hotel under its new ownership.

1856 Alexander Edward Short was the first crown land purchaser of lot 10 section 56, and built a number of homes and a Pub on his corner of Hawke & Spencer Streets in West Melbourne.


1861 Mr. John Leach lived at this address when it was a 2 room brick house.


1861 page 2


Context and Streetscape

The current 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


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