Demolish this Art Deco store on Flinders Street ? Just say no.

This attractive Art Deco facade was built in 1936 as part of the works of adding an addition floor to Snow’s Department Store, one of the numerous smaller interwar department stores in the CBD. The store had been there since 1926, and traded until 1954, when the building became the home of Tattersall’s, and later Yooralla. In recent years it was painted up in a delightful pastel colour scheme, emphasising its Art Deco features, like the stepped parapet and horizontal ‘streamlining’.

Late last year however, Mormas Land P/L have lodged a proposal to completely demolish it, to make way for a 215 room 13 storey hotel. We’ve seen a lot of facadism in recent years, but surprisingly they havn’t even proposed that minimum level of preservation.

The building is officially C graded, but that grade was applied in 1993, and the appreciation of Art Deco has grown by leaps and bounds since then; what’s more it’s in the middle of the very intact Flinder Street heritage streetscape, and in the Flinders Gate heritage precinct. The proposed hotel design is creative, but makes no attempt to fit in to the historic streetscape. No particularly good reasons are given for the demolition, so we think Council should just say no.

If you want your voice heard too, just send an email to, quote the application number TP-2016-1046, the address, 244 Flinders Street, and tell them you don’t think it should be demolished. (and don’t forget to add you name address and contact details). Our objection can be found here, and all the planning documents are here.


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The developed submitted modified plans that involved the retention of the facade, and the setback of the tower section by 6m. Our only concerns are that it is yet another case of facadism; we would have preferred retaining a whole portion of the building instead of just the front wall. We are also concerned that the facade is not being restored to earlier appearance,  keeping the 90s aluminium window frames (albeit sympathetic), and painting in ‘burnt sugar’ rather than what was probably a light cream originally (though the image looks like light cream). While the end result is a vast improvement, Council would never have given a permit for full demolition, and this design should have been the starting point.

Snows recevelopment in context
New design with setback tower and retained facade.

6 thoughts on “Demolish this Art Deco store on Flinders Street ? Just say no.

  1. No. Preserve what remains of this facade. Snows stores were n important part of Melbourne retailing and so this link should be prerved as an essential part of Melbourne retail development.


    1. Definitely agree. Save these important facades. We need to preserve our architectural history or the city will develop into a featureless series of concrete canyons.


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