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Negative - Cromwell Building, Corner Bourke & Elizabeth Streets, Melbourne, 1971 Image Reg. No: MM 055641

Black and white 5" x 4" negative showing the newly erected Cromwell, Chandris Line office building, on the corner of Bourke & Elizabeth Streets Melbourne, on 26 March 1971. This new structure replaced the original Cromwell Building, a landmark Victorian building which was constructed in 1886. The new, brown-brick office tower was in turn demolished in the 1990s, just twenty years after its construction.

This image is part of the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria comprising approximately 85,000 negatives taken by the Melbourne based Laurie Richards Studio between the 1950s -1970s. These negatives are all mostly large format [5"x 4"/ 12.5 x 10 cm], black and white images, though a significant number are in colour. The many photographic jobs that were undertaken in the course of thirty years are itemised in a set of log books, copies of which are also held by Museum Victoria.

Laurie Richards was a professional photographer who began his career as a photo-journalist, working for the Advertiser newspaper in Adelaide, and the Argus and the Herald newspapers in Melbourne. In 1953, he opened his own business and set up a photographic studio at his home at 4 Tower Avenue, Alphington, an inner suburb of Melbourne. At its peak, in the late 1960s, the Laurie Richards Studio was one of Melbourne's pre-eminent commercial photographic studios, employing twelve photographers. The Laurie Richards Studio worked mainly in advertising and public relations, and had a broad clientele which included commercial companies, government institutions and the entertainment industry.
Black and white 5" x 4" cellullose acetate negative.
Statement Of Significance:
Because of the breadth of both the subject matter photographed and the diverse businesses which commissioned the work, and the excellent documentation that accompanies the collection, the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria is an invaluable record of Melbourne?s commercial and industrial past and as such gives an insight into the social history of that period.
Description Of Content:
View of a high rise office building [about 15 stories] on a busy city street, Bourke Street in Melbourne, taken from beneath a verandah on the opposite side of the street. A tram is travelling past the building and, diagonally opposite, pedestrians are crossing the road in the foreground. On the street perpendicular to the tram [Elizabeth Street], a number of cars, another tram and a tramstop can also be seen. Other buildings are visible, including the State Savings Bank of Victoria head office [at left] and Coles and Garrard.
Laurie Richards Collection, Museum Victoria
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 100 mm (Height), 103 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Approximate dimensions

More information

Tagged with: banks, billboards, electric trams, motor cars, offices, roads, shops, signage, street lighting
Themes this item is part of: Laurie Richards Collection, Images & Image Making Collection, Transport Collection, Laurie Richards Studio, Photographer, Melbourne, Victoria, The State Savings Bank of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria
Primary Classification: ENVIRONMENTS
Secondary Classification: Metropolitan - Melbourne
Tertiary Classification: streetscapes
Original Caption: Cromwell, Chandris Line Building
Organisations Depicted: Coles and Garrard Pty Ltd; State Savings Bank of Victoria
Format: Negative: Black & White; 5 in. x 4 in.
Place & Date Depicted: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 26 Mar 1971
Photographer: Laurie Richards Studio, Alphington, Victoria, Australia, 26 Mar 1971

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