On the 31st of August 1955, the Degraves underpass was built to allow pedestrians to travel between Flinders Street Station and Degraves Street without having to cross bustling Flinders Street. The Art Deco arcade features black marble columns and pink tiled walls as well as display cases which are used by the not-for-profit public art organisation, Platform Artists Group Inc. Founded in 1990 by Andrew Seward and Richard Holt, the group organises exhibitions by local and international emerging visual artists. Platform Artists Group Inc is Melbourne’s longest-running artist-run initiative and one of Melbourne’s most highly visible art spaces with approximately 35,000 people a week passing through the space.
Today, Degraves Street is at the heart of Melbourne’s café culture and acts as a thoroughfare for those heading from Flinders Street to Flinders Lane, roughly connecting to Centreway Arcade. As you pass by the many cafés, including The Quarter, Degraves Espresso and Cup of Truth, you will be enticed by the strong aroma of freshly ground coffee. If you’re after Mediterranean cuisine, then stop by Il Tempo, Café Andiamo and La Citta for pasta, pizza and fresh panini. Little Cupcakes, Waffle On and Doughnut Time offer the perfect treats to accompany your coffee. Degraves Street is also home to a number of hidden shopping gems including WMR records, the Florentine paper merchant Il Papiro, soleDevotion and Clementines.