WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CAMPBELL ARCADE?

Campbell Arcade was built to provide a subway exit from Flinders Street Station and to relieve commuter congestion on Flinders and Swanston streets. It was the first piece of post-WWII public infrastructure built in Melbourne and was completed in time for the 1956 Olympic Games. 

First proposed in 1926, building began in 1952 and cost £300,000 (roughly $11 million in today’s currency). It opened to much fanfare in 1955 and is admired for its black granite columns, pink wall tiles, neat shops and show windows.

The underpass was most popular as a passenger thoroughfare just prior to the opening of the City Loop. Once the City Loop opened between 1981 and 1985, pedestrian traffic reduced substantially. 

Campbell Arcade was added to the Victorian Heritage Register in a revision to the Flinders Street Station listing in 2015. 

In recent years the arcade has become known for its eclectic mix of retail and artisan shops. 

 

HOW WILL THE HISTORY OF THE ARCADE BE MAINTAINED?

The revised plan will allow almost all the heritage features of Campbell Arcade to be retained, including its 1950s curved tile walls, granite columns and display windows. 

While it is not possible to retain Campbell Arcade completely in its current form, we’ve managed to get the best possible outcome for moving passengers around our train network while retaining this pocket of Melbourne history for future generations. 

For more information on the Metro Tunnel Project visit https://bigbuild.vic.gov.au/projects/metro-tunnel 

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