View of the main Exhibition Building and, further north, the temporary annexes, from the south-east corner of the Carlton Gardens near Nicholson and Victoria Streets at the time of the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition held at the Exhibition Buildings, between 1 October 1880 and 30 April 1881.

Although the Exhibition Building itself had only been recently constructed, the foundation stone being laid in February 1879, the gardens themselves include more mature plants that were part of the original garden layout established by Edward LaTrobe Bateman in the mid 1850s. Even so, relatively recent planting is apparent throughout the gardens in preparation for the 1880 Exhibition.

Also of note is the cast iron fence that originally surrounded Carlton Gardens. While the fence has long since gone, the bluestone footings remain as a border to the gardens today. Similar to the cast iron gates that once marked the entrance on the south-east corner of the gardens, in 2011 a reproduction of a section of fence and the gates was installed at the entrance to the Building's western forecourt, off Rathdowne Street.

Description of Content

Exhibition Buildings and temporary annexes taken from an elevated vantage point on the south-east corner of Victoria and Nicholson Streets during the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. The Victorian state flag is flying from the Exhibition Building's dome, with several other flags flying on the building's western side. There are several coaches travelling northwards along Nicholson Street, and groups of people, often in pairs can be seen walking along the edge of Carlton Gardens or crossing Nicholson Street. Many of the figures and the horse-drawn vehicles have been retouched, probably by the photographic studio at the time the print was produced. A street vendor with his trolley can be seen standing in the gutter on the western side of Nicholson Street.

Physical Description

Sepia coloured photographic print.


This is a particular interesting, and seemingly rare photograph of the Exhibition Buildings taken at the time of the 1880-1881 Melbourne International Exhibition. While other contemporary photos are often taken of the main Exhibition Buildings itself, from within Carlton Gardens, this image is taken from an elevated vantage point outside the gardens, and gives some indication of the vast scope of the exhibition buildings, including the temporary annexes that were erected for the Exhibition in the northern part of the gardens, extending off the main permanent building.

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