Cole's Book Arcade was a massive three-storey bookstore in the heart of Melbourne opened 1883. But this was a bookshop with a difference. It had a fernery, a wonderland with funny mirrors, a music department, a lolly shop, a lending library...there were secondhand books for sale, a Chinese tea salon, even a live monkey display! The arcade was the embodiment of one man's vision and humanitarian ideals: Edward William Cole.

Cole's Book Arcade was a massive three-storey bookstore in the heart of Melbourne opened

1951: People relax on the lawns outside the State Library of Victoria. Picture: Herald Sun Image Library/ARGUS

IT IS difficult to imagine today, but only a few decades ago a suburban-style motor accessories store stood at one of the Melbourne CBD’s prime locations.

COLE'S BOOK ARCADE Bourke Street Melbourne interior in the 1880's. From Cole of the Book Arcade : A biography of E.W Cole by Cole Tunley 1974 (minkshmink) #colesfunnypicturebook #colesbookarcade

Cole's Book Arcade, Bourke Street Melbourne interior in the

A map dating to the 1880s shows the well-established suburbs of Melbourne.

A map dating to the shows the well-established suburbs of Melbourne.

MAX DUPAIN (1911-1992) Flinders Street Station 1946 silver gelatin photograph 45 x 40cm, Leonard Joel Auctions, Calender, Australian Auctioneers

MAX DUPAIN (1911-1992) Flinders Street Station 1946 silver gelatin photograph 45 x 40cm, Leonard Joel Auctions, Calender, Australian Auctioneers

"Plan of Melbourne showing proposed new railway station" Published: Melbourne : Railway Dept., 1878. Part of the University of Melbourne Maps Collection.

"Plan of Melbourne showing proposed new railway station" Published: Melbourne : Railway Dept., Part of the University of Melbourne Maps Collection.

Pinterest
Search