Home > The mysterious tin shed in Melbourne's CBD

The mysterious tin shed in Melbourne's CBD

04 December 2020

In 1906 a humble little corrugated iron building was erected on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Little Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD.

The shed was intended to be temporary, but stayed put for decades as grand skyscrapers sprouted up all around it.

As the years passed, rumours began to swirl about the 'old tin shed'; some said it was owned by a ‘drunken sailor’ who bought it in exchange for a bottle of rum, others said no one actually knew the land's true owner. All the while, title claims poured in from far and wide - from the vague to the outright fanciful.

Eventually, the building was dubbed a 'disgrace to the city' and was finally demolished in 1964. In this episode of From the Vault, we explore the life of Melbourne's mysterious tin shed.

Discover more

About From the Vault

From the Vault is a video series that delves into the surprising, poignant and sometimes funny stories behind the unique archival images held in the State Library Victoria collection.

Find out more and view all episodes.