St Patrick's Day, then and now

by Kate C
Publish date
17 March 2011
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17 March is St Patrick's Day, a national holiday for the Irish and widely celebrated by communities of Irish descent worldwide. A quick search on Collections Online turned up a photograph of a St Patrick's Day parade along Spring Street, Melbourne, in 1925.

There was certainly no parade through town today when I visited the site. In fact, the only events I can find celebrating St Patrick's Day this year involve Melbourne's many Irish pubs. Still, it gave me an interesting chance to compare how the three buildings in the 1925 photograph have changed.

  Spring St buildings comparison Two photos of the same site in Melbourne taken 86 years apart. Top: St Patrick 's Day parade passing the Windsor Hotel and Spencer's Old White Hart Hotel, 1925. Photo taken by The Allen Studio. (MM 6348) Bottom: The same Spring St site in 2011.
Source: Museum Victoria

In the top photo, the White Hart Hotel still stands on the corner of Bourke and Spring Streets. This was demolished in 1960 and replaced with the Windsor Hotel's north wing. The Imperial Hotel in the right of the frame dates back to the 1860s - and before this site was occupied by buildings, apparently it was used by a circus!


MV Blog: Benalla, then and now

2005 Irish Festival at the Immigration Museum

Origins: History of immigration from Ireland and Northern Ireland

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.