From our Architecture Desk..
Arcades having been part of the Melbourne shopping experience since the 1850's. While some arcades such as the Block and The Royal, are still surviving examples Melbourne architecture, many have disappeared over the years, Cole's Book, The Eastern and The Queen's being some examples. Mark Strizic photographed Queen's Walk in that late 1950's, before its demolition for the City Square. Queen's Walk 1889, right angled arcade had an entrance off Swanston Street and an entrance of Collins Street, opposite the Town Hall. Ironically, if there had been no demolition caused by the need for a city square and all things being equal, this arcade would have been demolished in 2017 anyway for the new underground railway. Which is a segue, into the imminent demolition of the Port Phillip Arcade in Flinders Street.
The first colonial building on this Flinders Street site was built in 1838, and later nicknamed Hodgson's Folly. This building morphed into the Port Phillip Club Hotel by the 1850's .
JW Lindt photographed it in [ca. 1876-ca. 1894] 
Move onto the late 1950's when this was demolished  to make way for the Port Phillip Arcade.
It was in this arcade that Max Stern moved his stamp and coin business in 1956. Max ran this business amazingly for 60 years in this location, until his death at 94 in 2016. His windows were a delight for philatelists and numismatists alike. In the nineteen sixties many children would spend much school holiday time on their trip to "town", staring at all the sets in the Max's windows, working at which was the best set to buy with whatever pocket money they had saved.
While Max was the long term tenant, the arcade had an number of other shops including, a cake decorating supplier, an engraver, some Asian cafes and a private college upstairs. It's "had" because the arcade traders were told in 2015 that the arcade was being acquired in 2017 as part of Melbourne's Metro Rail Project.
While in my opinion, and this may be contentious, the Port Phillip Arcade is not amongst Melbourne's most architecturally significant arcades, it did have an important mural at its Flinders Street frontage.
So in the last few months, the arcade has become a ghost town, as traders have packed up and moved on. The arcade was still a shortcut between Flinders Lane and Flinders Street and hot lunch spot.
|Looking out the front of Port Phillip Arcade [May, 2015]||
Which brings us to the 30.10.2017.
It was the Demise of Port Phillip Arcade. The Metro Rail Project had two workers to hand out the above postcards and discount vouchers to the remaining shops in the adjoining Scott Alley. Max Stern's stamp and coin displays had long gone as had the cage decorating supplies, and the engraver. In the end one Asian cafe was left until last.
But on Tuesday 30.10.2017, there was none anymore. But the end of that day, locks where put on both ends of the arcade and the short wait to the demolition crew was to begin.
 Robyn Annear, A City Lost and Found. Whelan the Wrecker's Melbourne. [Black Inc., 2005] p.154
 State Library of Victoria, https://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/41779
Demolition on Port Phillip Arcade signals start of major works on the new Town Hall station by Alastair Taylor