487-495 Collins Street

A photograph of 487-495 Collins Street.
Former Wool Exchange Building, Winfield Building
487-495 Collins Street
Floors (above-ground)
Architect / architectural firm
Charles D’Ebro, Richard Speight Jr.
Construction firm
Construction start date
Construction end date
Architectural style
Federation Queen Anne
Current Tenant(s):
Past Tenant(s):
  • Haigh's Chocolates. (Chocolate retailer).
  • Melbourne Chilled Butter Company. (Butter manufacturer).
  • Melbourne Cool Storage Co. (Storage facility).
  • Melbourne Wool Exchange. (Commodity exchange).

The former Wool Exchange Building, later known as the Winfield Building (etymology unknown), was designed by Charles D’Ebro and Richard Speight Jr. and built in 1891 for brewer J. R. Murphy. Part of the financing for the building came from the architect and his father, Richard Speight Snr., a commissioner of the Victorian Railways. From 1892 to 1894, the building was home to Melbourne's first amalgamated wool exchange, and incorporated an auction hall which brought together all the city's wool sales. (The wool exchange presumably later moved to 120 King Street, although it is unknown when or why this occured, or if the wool exchange at this building was a different business altogether). Other tenants in the rear stores included the Melbourne Chilled Butter Company and Melbourne Cool Storage Co. The rear of the building was replaced with a fourteen storey extension in 1984, as part of the redevelopment of the site into a hotel. The five-storey Collins Street façade is all that remains of the original building. It is constructed of brick on a bluestone plinth and cement render mouldings. It is in the English Queen Anne style, reflecting the architectural influence of Richard Norman Shaw in England. The corner treatment echoes the adjacent Rialto building, being splayed and crowned by a conical turret. Characteristic of the Queen Anne style is the steep pediment at roof level, reminiscent of Flemish gables and penetrated by windows. Also contributing to the style is the banded cement contrasting to the face red brickwork and the wide variety of window treatments. The dormer windows and decorative iron ridgework add further interest to the variegated and picturesque roofline.

Building manager / body corporate / owner's corporation