Melbourne laneways – Balcombe Place

Many of Melbourne’s laneways are revered for their charming revival as cafe strips or sites of energetic street art.

Others are left remarkably untouched – grimy, dark places full of rubbish bins and ducting.

Balcombe Place off Collins St bears signs of an earlier affluent life, but the highly ornate buildings which create the laneway are now ignored and unloved.

While there have been artistic moments (a bronze statue of Hoddle was once placed here – much to the outrage of local traders), the laneway is bejewelled only by air conditioners, overhead wires and pipework.

Balcombe Place Melbourne

Balcombe Place Melbourne

Balcombe Place, Melbourne

Balcombe Place, Melbourne, Acrylic and Pastel – Chas Spain January 2014

14 thoughts on “Melbourne laneways – Balcombe Place

  1. I’d say this must be the post! BTW, it is off LITTLE Collins Street, near Elizabeth. The plum-coloured decaying grandeur building on the left is the one I showed you, which I’d flipped horizontally, and you wanted to know what was at the top of the building; I’ve since had a closer look at my photo and it is a plant growing there! I quite like the decaying grandeur of some of our older buildings; kinda reminds me of Italy, they’re ot naverse to letting their buildings become really, well…you know. I certainly can live with it. As to seeing all that rubbishy stuff, well, I guess it must have been garbage collection day the next day. I’ll be posting my pic of those dumpsters real soon. I have another one of dumpsters to show as well before then from another laneway further north in the CBD. I like your painting.


    • Thanks for picking up the proper geography Janina – I’ll update the info (wouldn’t be a very good travel blogger would I?) It is nice to have things with some patina of age but I feel these buildings have been left a little under loved.


    • Thanks so much Mae – it’s a bit of a change to most of the work I’ve been doing recently which is good – a different sort of experimenting. (Fact is that all my mineral turps dried up in the heat last week and I haven’t bought any more so had to give the oils a break.)


    • Thanks Lottie – yes I got the email so thanks for all that – she’s still planning (heading off at the end of Feb) so you’ve given her a lot to work from!! Hope you’re doing well.


  2. Hi Maureen. I’m going to try and find out a bit more about the buildings on either side. It is rather depressing that the council can approve the rapid development of glass tower blocks and not somehow use that income to re-invest in our architectural gems.


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