The 12 months is 1858, and Melbourne is on its way to getting the most affluent metropolis on the earth, as the hurry for gold gripped Victoria, and the environment.

Gold was pouring into Melbourne from the Victorian gold fields and being saved in the Treasury on Williams St (now demolished), which was proving progressively inadequate.

The question then stood, where by does a single retailer hauls of gold bullion from Ballarat, Bendigo and outside of?

That issue was answered with the development of the Outdated Treasury Making (OTB) on Spring St.

The work for the layout of the OTB was supplied to young architect, John James “JJ” Clark.



He was 19 when he started the design, but he was an previous hand in the department getting joined the then Colonial Architect’s Office at 14 when his relatives emigrated to Melbourne from Liverpool.

With Mr Clark’s style arrived 12 bluestone vaults, two ft thick, destined to property and defend the most important commodity in the environment at that time, gold.

Individuals vaults however sit below Victoria’s infamous political road and can be toured with the aid of the pleasant staff members at the OTB.



“It is unfamiliar just how much gold was saved in the setting up, whether or not unidentified by layout or misplaced to time, we will never ever know,” OTB instruction officer, Katie Dunning said.

“We do know that the Federal government Escort began bringing gold specifically in this article from 1865. Investigation into this time of the OTB’s lifetime will type the foundation of a new exhibition we system on opening in 2024,” she explained.


The vaults were also utilised as govt history storage as most departments’ information ended up retained in considerably less-than-excellent ailments. Parliamentary information display that some were saved straight following to timber yards, so fireplace was a consistent worry.


According to Ms Dunning, the vaults experienced other makes use of, together with lodging for guards and troopers, which was sooner or later highlighted in the exhibition Expanding up in the Old Treasury.

While the contents of the vaults and their worth may well not drop the jaw as they used to, they nonetheless deliver a distinctive and rather mysterious insight to a time when Melbourne sat atop the world.

“The Old Treasury Constructing is a wonderful undiscovered gem, which surprises and delights all,” Ms Dunning explained. •

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