Open House Melbourne to expose Port Phillip
 Port Phillip News   By // 02:07, Friday 22 July 2016

esplanade vaults photo from open house melbourne website

Image: the Esplanade Vaults. Credit: Open House Melbourne

Ever wondered what lies behind the doors of the Esplanade Vaults? Or what the Eildon Mansion is like inside? Well, your chance to stickybeak is nigh.

Almost 150 buildings will welcome the public in for Open House Melbourne at the end of the month, ten of which are located in the City of Port Phillip.


St Kilda’s Esplanade Vaults is one structure sure to get some attention. The nowadays-nondescript 125-year-old structure was home to several shops from construction in 1891 until its closure in the 1950s. The buildings were far more important than they appear today, being a council revenue source which helped pay for widening of the city’s famous esplanade. That project allowed for the construction of a cable tramway and, ultimately, the modern electric tram network.

A world away from the vaults, the renaissance revival-style Eildon Mansion will also open for inspection. The 1850 mansion is one of St Kilda’s oldest buildings.

Port Phillip mayor Bernadene Voss said the council was expecting a strong showing at the sites.

“Melbourne-wide crowds have climbed past 130,000 at previous open house programs, so we expect there’ll be some excited residents wanting to discover the unique properties and institutions that have helped shape City of Port Phillip and beyond over the past 160 years,” Ms Voss said in a media release.

The full list of Port Phillip buildings to open to the public is:

  • Australian Tapestry Workshop
  • Edgewater Towers
  • Eildon Mansion
  • Esplanade Vaults
  • Jewish Museum of Australia
  • Luna Park – booked out
  • Plus Architecture Studio
  • Portable Iron Houses
  • South Melbourne Town Hall
  • Ulimaroa – need to book

Open House Melbourne will be held on 30 and 31 July, but some buildings will have different schedules and may only be open one day. You can find details of all sites at

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