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Stunning historical images compared to current photographs show Melbourne’s growth

Incredible ‘then and now’ comparisons of old and new photographs show how much Melbourne has changed over the years.

Images shared by Old Vintage Melbourne highlight the city’s development, with some showing the Victorian capital when it was just a fraction of the size it is now. 

Creator Chris Machera runs the page to bring attention to Melbourne’s heritage, and matches archival images to present-day shots taken from the same places. 

And while most of the photos show stark differences, especially to the skyline, others reveal that some parts of Melbourne have not changed much at all, but for the upgraded trams, newer cars and modern fashion. 

Chris Macheras excitingly runs the account to share Melbourne’s heritage ranging from iconic buildings such as Flinders Street Station or popular shopping strips like Bourke Street. 

The collection includes a 1934 image of Bourke Street looking east towards Spring Street and Parliament taken during the centennial celebration of the founding of the city of Melbourne. 

Almost 87 years later, a colour photograph shows a few new buildings that have popped up since then, and the upgraded tram system. 

A black-and-white aerial photograph of Melbourne taken in 1950 shows Fitzroy Town Hall in the bottom left-hand corner when Melbourne was just a quarter of the size it is today.

Seventy years later, an aerial photo taken in the same spot shows a forest of new skyscrapers dominating the skyline, but many smaller historical buildings remain. 

One of the older photos, taken in 1900 on Bourke Street shows crowds celebrating the Relief of Mafeking in the Boer War near the corner of Elizabeth Street. 

Men dressed in suits and hats are seen in the streets and on buildings celebrating the military victory, which involved 1,400 Australian volunteers of the Citizen Bushmen Contingents. 

The buildings have since been revamped with a Chemist Warehouse and a Vodafone store popping up on the popular shopping strip street.  

This image of Bourke Street looking east towards Spring Street and Parliament was taken at 3.20pm in 1934, during the centennial celebration of the founding of the city of Melbourne

Almost 87 years later, a photo shows a few new buildings that have popped up since 1934, and an upgrade of the tram system

Almost 87 years later, a photo shows a few new buildings that have popped up since 1934, and an upgrade of the tram system

A black-and-white aerial photograph of Melbourne taken in 1950 shows Fitzroy Town Hall in the bottom left-hand corner when Melbourne was just a quarter of the size it is today

A black-and-white aerial photograph of Melbourne taken in 1950 shows Fitzroy Town Hall in the bottom left-hand corner when Melbourne was just a quarter of the size it is today

Seventy years later, an aerial photo taken in the same spot shows a forest of new skyscrapers dominating the skyline, but many smaller historical buildings remain

Seventy years later, an aerial photo taken in the same spot shows a forest of new skyscrapers dominating the skyline, but many smaller historical buildings remain

This photograph taken 163 years ago in 1858 shows Swanston Street lined with two and three storey buildings with no clear sign of a tram line

This photograph taken 163 years ago in 1858 shows Swanston Street lined with two and three storey buildings with no clear sign of a tram line 

Swanston Street has since had a complete makeover with modern office buildings taking over the street, including popular fashion store Dior, the introduction of a tram and the clock tower of Melbourne at Town Hall

Swanston Street has since had a complete makeover with modern office buildings taking over the street, including popular fashion store Dior, the introduction of a tram and the clock tower of Melbourne at Town Hall

One of the older photos, taken in 1900 on Bourke Street shows crowds celebrating the Relief of Mafeking in the Boer War near the corner of Elizabeth Street. Men dressed in suits and hats are seen in the streets and on buildings celebrating the military victory, which involved 1,400 Australian volunteers of the Citizen Bushmen Contingents

One of the older photos, taken in 1900 on Bourke Street shows crowds celebrating the Relief of Mafeking in the Boer War near the corner of Elizabeth Street. Men dressed in suits and hats are seen in the streets and on buildings celebrating the military victory, which involved 1,400 Australian volunteers of the Citizen Bushmen Contingents

121 years later the buildings have since been revamped with a Chemist Warehouse and a Vodafone store popping up on the popular shopping strip street

121 years later the buildings have since been revamped with a Chemist Warehouse and a Vodafone store popping up on the popular shopping strip street

A black-and-white aerial shot taken in 1969, shows East Melbourne over St Patrick's Cathedral looking towards the CBD. East Melbourne was one of the city's earliest suburbs and one of the first residents was Charles La Trobe

A black-and-white aerial shot taken in 1969, shows East Melbourne over St Patrick’s Cathedral looking towards the CBD. East Melbourne was one of the city’s earliest suburbs and one of the first residents was Charles La Trobe

Half-a-century later, St Patrick's Cathedral is still standing surrounded by the trees seen in the before photo but now there are even more skyscrapers

Half-a-century later, St Patrick’s Cathedral is still standing surrounded by the trees seen in the before photo but now there are even more skyscrapers

This 1900 photograph shows the intersection of Moreland and Sydney Road between the suburbs of Brunswick and Coburg. Coburg was surveyed by Robert Hoddle in 1837 where he designed a 327acre village with two roads for the district known as Bell Street and Pentridge Road, later called Sydney Road

This 1900 photograph shows the intersection of Moreland and Sydney Road between the suburbs of Brunswick and Coburg. Coburg was surveyed by Robert Hoddle in 1837 where he designed a 327acre village with two roads for the district known as Bell Street and Pentridge Road, later called Sydney Road

In 2021, the fancy street light was removed and some of the shops remained the same but with a modern upgrade. Electric lines for the trams are seen cris-crossed from different power poles to ensure they don't break down on their journey

In 2021, the fancy street light was removed and some of the shops remained the same but with a modern upgrade. Electric lines for the trams are seen cris-crossed from different power poles to ensure they don’t break down on their journey

Melbourne's skyline in 1960 overlooking the Princes Bridge and into the CBD shows what was one of the state's first skyscrapers. Contruction of the CRA building with the crane hovering over was started in 1959. The building was then demolished in 1988.

Melbourne’s skyline in 1960 overlooking the Princes Bridge and into the CBD shows what was one of the state’s first skyscrapers. Contruction of the CRA building with the crane hovering over was started in 1959. The building was then demolished in 1988.

In the CRA building's place today stands the 101 Collins Building, a 260m skyscraper with 50 floors. Melbourne boasts the most skyscrapers in Australia, with 67 buildings taller than 150m as of 2020

In the CRA building’s place today stands the 101 Collins Building, a 260m skyscraper with 50 floors. Melbourne boasts the most skyscrapers in Australia, with 67 buildings taller than 150m as of 2020

Essendon Fields Airport is set to celebrate 100 years on August 11 this year following its construction in 1921

Essendon Fields Airport is set to celebrate 100 years on August 11 this year following its construction in 1921 

Nowadays, the airport has had a massive improvement with the previous grass runways converted to concrete surfaces

Nowadays, the airport has had a massive improvement with the previous grass runways converted to concrete surfaces

Flinders Street Station is Australia's oldest train station, and can be easily recognised from its distinctive design, arched entrance, tower and clock

Flinders Street Station is Australia’s oldest train station, and can be easily recognised from its distinctive design, arched entrance, tower and clock

Flinders Street Station also boasts one of the longest platforms on Platform One at 708m long - the fourth longest in the world

Flinders Street Station also boasts one of the longest platforms on Platform One at 708m long – the fourth longest in the world 

Melbourne's iconic railway station is visited by tourists from all over the world who come to take photos in front of it

Melbourne’s iconic railway station is visited by tourists from all over the world who come to take photos in front of it

The station was completed in 1910 and is considered one of the busiest railway stations in the Southern Hemisphere with over 1,500 train and 110,000 commuters passing through

The station was completed in 1910 and is considered one of the busiest railway stations in the Southern Hemisphere with over 1,500 train and 110,000 commuters passing through

The University of Melbourne is Australia's second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria, and is seen in this aerial shot from 1956

The University of Melbourne is Australia’s second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria, and is seen in this aerial shot from 1956

The university opened on July 3, 1854 and today boasts more than 50,000 students, and has a $1.335b endowment

The university opened on July 3, 1854 and today boasts more than 50,000 students, and has a $1.335b endowment

This photograph small tram at the top of Collins Street at the intersection with Spring Street dates back to the year 1900

This photograph small tram at the top of Collins Street at the intersection with Spring Street dates back to the year 1900

120 years later, Collins Street has been completely revamped and is a popular shopping popular strip including stores

120 years later, Collins Street has been completely revamped and is a popular shopping popular strip including stores

Burgundy Street in Heidelberg was a dirt road in 1890. That area is now outside Austin Hospital, one of Victoria's largest health care providers

Burgundy Street in Heidelberg was a dirt road in 1890. That area is now outside Austin Hospital, one of Victoria’s largest health care providers

Austin Health employs over 8,500 staff across its sites, including over 1,300 doctors, and delivers a full range of leading edge clinical services

Austin Health employs over 8,500 staff across its sites, including over 1,300 doctors, and delivers a full range of leading edge clinical services 

Bourke Street pictured in 1958 shows the street lined up with cars, the street bustling with people and no trees (left) compared to today where it is known as Bourke Street Mall thanks to its popular shopping strip

Bourke Street pictured in 1958 shows the street lined up with cars, the street bustling with people and no trees (left) compared to today where it is known as Bourke Street Mall thanks to its popular shopping strip

Bourke Street is named after Irish-born British army officer Sir Richard Bourke, who served as the Governor of New South Wales from 1831 and 1837.

Bourke Street is named after Irish-born British army officer Sir Richard Bourke, who served as the Governor of New South Wales from 1831 and 1837.

In front of Elizabeth Street Station in 1935 are men digging up cable tracks to for the electric tram system installation

In front of Elizabeth Street Station in 1935 are men digging up cable tracks to for the electric tram system installation

The street is famous as a retail shopping precinct and is connected with key shopping and tourist destinations

The street is famous as a retail shopping precinct and is connected with key shopping and tourist destinations 

Spring Street around 1890 shows the newly completed Princess Theatre which was built in 1886 for only £50,000

Spring Street around 1890 shows the newly completed Princess Theatre which was built in 1886 for only £50,000

Spring Street is known for its impressive Victorian architecture, including Melbourne Parliament House, the Old Treasury Building, the Windsor Hotel (also known as Duchess of Spring Street and the Princess Theatre

Spring Street is known for its impressive Victorian architecture, including Melbourne Parliament House, the Old Treasury Building, the Windsor Hotel (also known as Duchess of Spring Street and the Princess Theatre 



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