Black and white 5" x 4" negative showing an elevated view of the building site of the new ANZ Bank headquarters in 1974, looking north along Exhibition Street. This was part of the Collins Place development, on the corner of Collins and Exhibition Streets, Melbourne. Also visible in the background at left are Nauru House [also under construction] on the corner of Exhibition and Collins Streets, and the Southern Cross Hotel, on the corner of Exhibition and Bourke Streets.

This image is part of the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria comprising approximately 85,000 negatives taken by the Melbourne based Laurie Richards Studio between the 1950s -1970s. These negatives are all mostly large format [5"x 4"/ 12.5 x 10 cm], black and white images, though a significant number are in colour. The many photographic jobs that were undertaken in the course of thirty years are itemised in a set of log books, copies of which are also held by Museum Victoria.

Laurie Richards was a professional photographer who began his career as a photo-journalist, working for the Advertiser newspaper in Adelaide, and the Argus and the Herald newspapers in Melbourne. In 1953, he opened his own business and set up a photographic studio at his home at 4 Tower Avenue, Alphington, an inner suburb of Melbourne. At its peak, in the late 1960s, the Laurie Richards Studio was one of Melbourne's pre-eminent commercial photographic studios, employing twelve photographers. The Laurie Richards Studio worked mainly in advertising and public relations, and had a broad clientele which included commercial companies, government institutions and the entertainment industry.

Description of Content

An elevated view of a building site, showing concrete fouondations, formwork, scaffolding, multiple cranes, and one high rise tower which is quite progressed in its construction. Several cranes on the building site are marked with a logo and the words 'Mainline'. Other completed high rise buildings are in the background around the city, as are a number of other construction sites, with cranes visible.

Physical Description

Black and white 5" x 4" cellullose acetate negative.


Because of the breadth of both the subject matter photographed and the diverse businesses which commissioned the work, and the excellent documentation that accompanies the collection, the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria is an invaluable record of Melbourne's commercial and industrial past and as such gives an insight into the social history of that period.

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