BLOCK 10 | Today in 1879, “The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil”, reported that satisfactory progress was being made with the construction of The Eastern Market Buildings.
Satisfactory progress is being made with the erection of the new Eastern Market buildings. The Contractors (Messrs. Nation and Co.) obtained possession of the last portion of the site on the 18th of March, and since then the old fish, fruit, and poultry shops have been demolished, the necessary excavations made and the foundations of the west end wall put in. Ten tenants of the old shops are accommodated for the time being in the Little Collins Street frontage. The Exhibition Street frontage is all built and cemented, and the Bourke Street facade has risen to its full height for half its length, and First floor high for the remainder. The joiners’ work is nearly keeping pace with the cementing for it has been almost completed in the upper storey facing Exhibition Street, and for some distance down the same storey in Bourke Street. The internal buildings are also proceeding rapidly. The greater portion of the iron columns for the support of the three large roofs are on the ground. A number of them are already fixed, and the heavy timber work connected with them has been finished. The roofs over the roadways on the north and south sides have been completed for three-parts of the distance. The vaulting, of which the lower Market will chiefly consist, is constructed to the same extent, and the brick columns for the unfinished portion have been erected, and are ready for receiving the girders. A slight departure has been made from the original plan, in order to provide an entrance to the upper Market from Bourke Street, without steps, but this will not introduce any apparent irregularity in the design, as one of the arches will be utilised for the purpose. The main entrance from Bourke Street, which contains a flight of stone steps, is an archway of noble proportions. The work as a whole is substantial and workman-like. About 160 men are employed in connexion with it at present, and it is expected that it will be completed within contract time, so that the Market may be opened about Christmas next.
The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil, Saturday, 10 May 1879
The Eastern Market and its shops were pulled down to make way for the Southern Cross Hotel which was also demolished. The Southern Cross Tower [ SX1 ] Building at 121 Exhibition Street, now stands on the former site of The Eastern Market – Block 10.