Spencer Street, Melbourne

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Spencer Street
The intersection of Spencer and Collins Street, looking North West toward Southern Cross Station
General information
Type Street
Length 2 km (1.2 mi)
Route number(s) State Route 50
Major junctions
NW end Dynon Road and Dryburgh Street, West Melbourne
SE end Whiteman Street and Normanby Road, Southbank
Suburb(s) Melbourne CBD

Spencer Street is a major street in the central business district of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is named for John Spencer, 3rd Earl Spencer, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Spencer Street was the site of the first permanent buildings in the settlement now called Melbourne. The home of John Batman was built on nearby Batman's Hill where he lived until his death and the early camps of Captain William Lonsdale and Charles La Trobe were located along the street.[1]

Important buildings on Spencer Street include Southern Cross Station (formerly Spencer Street Station), the offices of The Age newspaper, the former Mail Exchange, Grand Hotel (former Victorian Railways administration offices[2]), the former Sir Charles Hotham Hotel and the HM Melbourne Assessment Prison.


Illustration of Spencer Street, 1889

Founded in 1898, It received its name after an incident in which John Spencer, 3rd Earl Spencer fell down a vertical stair to his death on the site of today's Southern Cross station.[3][4]

The street was once considered an unfashionable and unattractive end of town, but with the construction of Melbourne Docklands, Southern Cross Station and a shopping complex (formerly DFO), and demolition of eyesores such as the power station, several high rise apartment buildings have been built since the late 1990s.

The street was also home to the 1890 era Spencer Street Power Station which has been abandoned since 1982. The power station was asbestos-ridden, with demolition beginning in 2006.


Yarra River & Spencer Street Bridge

Running roughly from north to south, Spencer Street forms the western edge of the Hoddle Grid. To the north Spencer Street becomes Dynon Road, and to the south it becomes Clarendon Street after crossing the Spencer Street Bridge over the Yarra River.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spencer Street City of Melbourne
  2. ^ Geoff Peterson (February 1993). "67 Spencer Street". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). pp. 44–45. 
  3. ^ http://prov.vic.gov.au/publications/provenance/provenance2015/john-jones
  4. ^ http://prov.vic.gov.au/publications/provenance/provenance2011/little-latrobe-street

Coordinates: 37°48′47″S 144°57′04″E / 37.8131°S 144.951°E / -37.8131; 144.951