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Joseph Reed: A city’s greatest architect
Issue: Autumn 2010
by David Dunstan
Few architects have exerted such an influence on a city’s urban form as did Joseph Reed on Melbourne in the nineteenth century. The city was scarcely formed when he arrived in 1853. It had its central grid and a sprawl of single-storey timber and brick dwellings, but few buildings of note. When Reed died in 1890, Melbourne was a worthy rival of any British provincial city – Manchester, Leeds or Birmingham – with shops and theatres, banks, churches and substantial public buildings lining its streets and grand thoroughfares. Joseph Reed had played a significant part in this transformation.