471-477 Collins Street

A photograph of 471-477 Collins Street.
Olderfleet Building
471-477 Collins Street
Floors (above-ground)
Architect / architectural firm
William Pitt
Construction firm
G. Wadley
Construction start date
Construction end date
Architectural style
Victorian Free Gothic Revivalism
Current Tenant(s):
Past Tenant(s):
  • Melbourne Woolbrokers Association. (Professional association).

The Olderfleet Building (etymology unknown) was designed by William Pitt and built by G. Wadley between 1889 and 1890 for notable businessman P. K. McCaughan. It was constructed during the building boom of the 1880s, which transformed this part of the city from one of small warehouses in close proximity to the wharves, to one of commercial and mercantile activity. In the 1890s, tenants in the Olderfleet Building included the Melbourne Woolbrokers Association and others associated with agricultural industries. The original complex included the extant façade plus a large warehouse section that stretched back to Flinders Lane, accessed by a pitched laneway. In the 1970s, the building - threatened with demolition and redevelopment - was the focus of a campaign by the National Trust for its preservation, and of a new community heritage action movement. The Trust negotiated with developers to keep the front portion of the building, but the entirety of the rear wing was demolished in1974. The site as a whole was redeveloped in the mid-1980s.

The Olderfleet Building is composed of five storeys including a basement. The façade, which is the most significant part of the building, is designed in the Venetian Gothic style, a style that was introduced in Melbourne during the 1870s. The façade is arranged as three bays, with a central fleche and clock tower with pinnacle. The majority of construction is red brick, with cement dressings. The shafts of the ground floor piers are grey granite, with the columns above being of red granite. Internally the building has been retained to a depth of approximately 12 metres. Timber trusses have been retained on the top floor, though these have been concealed behind modern finishes.

Building manager / body corporate / owner's corporation