Saracens Head Hotel, Bourke Street, minus the actual head.

From the archives – the #SaracensHeadHotel on #BourkeStreet Up from Elizabeth was created c1875 by adding a floor to the existing much earlier pub. Basically an typical Italianate form, but the arches are (just) #horseshoearches, there’s a couple of #cresentmotif finials, and a pair of #oniondome ones, and some actual Saraccen’s heads (how un-pc !). The first photo was taken c1950 for #MaieCasey’s seminal 1953 book Early Melbourne Architecture, but only a few years later in a photo from @heraldsunphoto_retro from 1958 when it closed it had lost some details, though not the actual #SaracensHead’s. It was probably altered again not long after to become shops, losing the ground floor completely and perhaps the parapet, but the details that remain are unusual, if you look closely. Last photo @cityofmelbourne, and just this week (not mine though). We’re lucky to have anything at all, since the #StateBankofVictoria bought it for possible future expansion, but it wasn’t needed for the 30s building or the current CommBank that replaced it in the early 1980s. c

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