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An icon of Melbourne's history

Born of the gold rush and economic boom at the end of the 19th Century, Queen & Collins stands a reminder of a period that transformed Melbourne from large town to thriving city.

Soon after Wardell’s Gothic Bank in 1887 came the addition of the Safe Deposit Building and the former stock exchange at 380 Collins Street— the precinct establishing itself as the city’s financial focal point.

Melbourne Safe Deposit building, photographed by John T Collins, 1963.

Source: State Library of Victoria, H98.252/1217.

Revival of the characteristic

In more recent times, Queen & Collins Tower reached into the skies, providing its own take on the celebrated Melbourne Gothic style.

Today, the site resonates with storied Melbournians and curious travellers alike. Central to the precinct’s revival is a vision to re-install the unique identities of each building and the spaces in between. Most importantly, though, are the new characters who will visit each day, continuing this story told anew.

The Cathedral Room, English, Scottish and Australian Bank, 380 Collins Street, photographed by Wolfgang Sievers, 1950.

Source: State Library of Victoria, H2002.58.

lasting banking legacy

The first bank to be designed in the Gothic style, ES&A was the trendsetter for this trademark architecture of banking corporations. Architecturally significant due to its scale and ornate grandeur of both the interior and exterior, the tower was considered one of the finest buildings in Melbourne at the time of construction.

architectural significance

The Gothic Bank and former Stock Exchange leverage their architectural significance via the association they bear to prominent Melbourne architects William Wardell and William Pitt. While The Verdon chambers within the Gothic Bank are architecturally significant thanks to the sheer size and grandeur.  The Cathedral Room within the Former Stock Exchange maintain an essence of architectural significance as a largely original, and very ornate example of a public business arena.

1921 alterations

The 1921 alterations to the back of the building represent a progressive solution in inner city expansion, focussing on renovation and interior redesign as opposed to rebuilding.

historical significance

Positioned on a corner site within the centre of Melbourne's banking district at a time when Melbourne was considered to be the most important business centre in Australia, The ANZ Bank holds strong historical significance. The building also illustrates the banking boom during the 1880s and the subsequent depression of the 1890s adding to its rich history and cementing its place as an icon of Melbourne CBD's commercial landscape. 

1980s renovations

In the late 1980s, the ANZ Bank underwent major renovations to create a link between the Gothic Bank and Stock Exchange with the Safe Deposit via a covered glass atrium. A new tower was constructed on Queen and Little Collins streets and the Gothic Bank was restored, including works to the Verdon Chambers and the banking chamber.


The GPT Group involved Greenshoot Consulting and Greenaway Architects at our Queen & Collins redevelopment, as we sought to celebrate and amplify our First Peoples' culture in the project. Consistent with the principles of the International Indigenous Design Charter, our teams collaborated to create space in the program to ensure early engagement with Kulin Nations Traditional Owners to help inform the design outcome.

As one of Australia’s only Aboriginal owned design practices, Greenaway Architects’ engagement provided direction as we incorporated important sites surrounding the GPT development, and embodied them in a ceremonial fire dish as wayfinding opportunities for visitors to the building. This is part of their team's collective contribution to acknowledging that all projects in the built and natural environment are on Aboriginal land, which has been managed and cared for by First Peoples for over 67,000 years. This design outcome amplifies, educates and facilitates ongoing connection and engagement with the Traditional Custodians. Always Was, Always Will Be.


An ANZ Banking Museum was opened in the lower ground floor of the former ES&A Bank in 1985. It was established to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to the Bank of Australasia. A major refurbishment of the banking museum was undertaken in 2007, however it is understood to have relocated at the same time as ANZ.

In 2020, the site is being further redeveloped, with the link between the three historical buildings once again being renewed. The glass atrium is being removed and the three buildings will be linked by a series of four ‘Campiellos’ or outdoor courtyards and laneways.

E.S.&A. Bank, corner of Collins and Queen Streets, Melbourne, exteriors, photographed by Wolfgang Sievers, 1952
Source: State Library of Victoria, H2003.100/43