Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

Stanleigh

493 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne

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Right : 1896 M.M.B.W. map :

Victoria House (upper) was a private residence, Shanghai Villa to the south was by 1904 the Russian Embassy.  The two properties to the immediate south of 493 appear to have been demolished for the Sheridan Close apartments of today.

 493 St. Kilda Road was the block marked with the map reference 905, just north of the intersection of Louise Street to the western side of St. Kilda Road.


Location

Eastern side, midway between Armadale Street (north) and Commercial Road

Memories

Personally, just a vague one of a reception area on the left-hand side as you entered and a Control Data area to the rear of the ground floor. Obviously there was have been upper-floor occupancy as I noted from one of the Flash bulletins scanned by David Lee complaints from the body corporate of the flats next door regarding office lights being left on at night.

Telephone directories tell me that in 1982, Control Data Australia was at 598 St. Kilda Road (51-0351) and in 1983 at 493 (268-9500), but other than that, I have little knowledge of the move, although someone at a lunch suggesting most of the logistics of the move were planned by Doug Watkins.

More information please!

History

Research into the history of this site is yet to be fully completed, and certainly Trove tells us little, other than indicating that the address was known as "Stanleigh" or "Stanley".

The early history is unclear as the numbers of the eastern side of St. Kilda Road have changed extensively over the years as it was originally for some reason numbered from south to north.  The western side, however, was numbered in the more conventional fashion of incrementing from the city end, i.e. in this case, north to south.

The eastern numbers between Commercial Road and Armadale Street in 1904 ran from 238 to 248, the four buildings including the Russian embassy and a home for nurses at the Alfred Hospital, but there is nothing to suggest whether the later 493 occupied one of those four sites.

The first reference is in 1934 with advertising for three-room apartments with separate entrances and own yard.  

There were probably larger apartments - one family named Grigg (George T. and later Bert J) appears to have occupied one from the early 1930s through to at least 1954 with three or four births or deaths noted. There was a wafer-thin connection to Control Data even then - "Bert" was actually Herbert John, later a member of the first Board of the Victorian T.A.B. and  at least three other members of the Grigg family were prominent in T.A.B. circles.

From 1962 to around 1965, the building was listed as the Melbourne office of Tongala Milk Products with no suggestion of other tenants, but from that point on until 1973, the entry is simply "not available", aka vacant or demolished.

The final Sands and Mac directory of 1974 showed 493 St. Kilda Road as "development site".

Today

Just another office block - other than some faint memories of the Control Data occupancy, there's absolute nothing to divert one's attention to the building.  There is now a covered section extending to St. Kilda Road which I don't recall and I did notice around the end of 2014 that the name of Linfox House appears.  Sheridan Close, the delightful block of old-style apartments on the northern side remains.