Evolving Port

Port Melbourne and Fishermans Bend change. Houses are changed or demolished and new forms of housing take their place. Port Houses records some of these changes.

26 February 2019

Army and Navy Hotel, Port Melbourne

December 2018

A private auction was held on 1 December. The property sold on 27 December 2018.

4 May 2013

After lying neglected and ignored for almost twenty years, the heritage listed Army and Navy Hotel has metamorphosed into some very sophisticated townhouses, now for sale. This photograph precedes the change.

June 2012

Dow St was a centre of activity for the Naval Brigades that preceded formation of the Australian Navy. The great apprehension of a Russian invasion galvanised the Brigades.

Here is just a snippet to convey the presence of Navy in Dow St:

'The Sandridge Corps of the Naval Brigade paraded on Friday at the drill room in Dow Street for official inspection. A hundred members were present … and the men went to quarters. The guns were all cast loose and run out, guns on both sides manned; broadside and independent firing was practised. The Officer in Command was Capt Steele assisted by Capt Johnson and Lieuts Swallow and Smith.'

A letter to The Age (14 01 1933) recalls some of the early settlers, including

'Captain Harry Hall (who) signalled his retirement from the sea by conducting the dual businesses of a sand contractor and a publican. He kept the Army and Navy Hotel in Dow-street, opposite the old drill hall.'

History of the Army and Navy Hotel

"By November 1866, a 6 room brick hotel had been built. It was owned by James Frazer, a Drill Instructor of Sandridge. Frederick Sanderson was granted a license for the Army and Navy Hotel on 1 October 1866. Other publicans kept the hotel during its early years. These included Thomas Postle (1867) and Frederick Haycroft (1868). During the 1880s the hotel was kept by Harry Hall who also rana a ballast contracting business."

(source: Port Melbourne Convervation Study prepared by Jacobs Lewis Vines Architects and Conservation Planners, July 1979) 


Visit the Victorian Heritage Database for a photograph that captures the presence of the Army and Navy Hotel.




23 February 2019

51-59 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne

March 2020

Construction continues on this project. Spec is now Samma Property Group. Read their story here.

March 2019

The site has been cleared, and construction of Lilix has commenced.

looking towards Thistlethwaite St from the City Road end

Lilix 'will become part of the fabric of South Melbourne, perfectly positioned in the emerging Montague precinct where the area's eclectic industrial past is giving way to new parks, schools and contemporary living'. (source: Lilix)

Lilix is a project of Spec Property.

from commencing soon to building commenced - March 2019
August 2018

The site at 51-59 Thistlethwaite St has been cleared in readiness for construction.
  • Floor count: 8
  • Dwellings: 148
  • Developer: SPEC property

formerly Tyres Plus, also fronting City Road



permit approved site for sale 2016

9 December 2015

51-59 Thistlethwaite St and 486 City Rd, South Melbourne

This application, first lodged with Council on 19 January 2015 was to
  • construct a mixed use, 4, 7, 13 and 16 level building containing retail and commercial tenancies,
  • 258 (126 x 1BR, 109 x 2BR inc. 6 SoHo, and 23 x 3BR) dwellings, community spaces including a toy library, and car and bicycle parking, 
City of Port Phillip planning report 9 December 2015


The site was sold for $572,000. (source Domain)