In the early years of the twentieth century the cable tram network of inner Melbourne, which had been built in the 1880s, was augmented by an electric tram network built and operated by municipal tramways trusts in the various expanding suburbs. The tram shelter at the corner of St Kilda Road and Dorcas Street South Melbourne is one of five remaining from of a distinct group nine picturesque closed timber shelters built between 1912 and 1927 in a style based on Edwardian domestic fashion.
The tram shelters at the corner of St Kilda Road and Lorne Street and St Kilda Road and High Street were built in 1927. These replaced earlier shelters erected by the Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust in 1913 and 1919. The shelters served passengers making the connection between the St Kilda Road cable trams and the departure point of the electric cars on P&MTT High Street route.
The timber-framed shelter has a raised timber floor and is clad to sill height externally in horizontal ship-lap weatherboards and internally in vertical v jointed lining boards. Similar boards cover the ceiling. The benches are of timber frames and slats. The upper halves of timber framed windows are in multi-paned patterned translucent glass with a segmental arch head. Half of the wall of the shelter facing the tram stop is open. The framing continues above with a single skin of vertical boarding set in to the same depth as the window. The gable section of wall is clad in vertical slats spaced to give ventilation. The gable roof is clad in terracotta shingles with a plain terracotta ridge. The rafters are exposed under the projecting eaves with a spaced board lining above. The gables project a similar distance to the eaves and are supported on simple timber brackets. The upper section is filled with a horizontal board at ceiling height to match the barges and an infill of vertical spaced boards. The detailing of the barges and the projecting ridge beam is a simplified form of that on the St Kilda Road/High Street shelter diagonally opposite.
The tram shelter at the corner of St Kilda Road and Lorne Streets Melbourne is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria.
The tram shelter at the corner of St Kilda Road and Lorne Streets Melbourne is of historical significance for its association with the cable tramway network which played an important part in the history of transport in Melbourne. The shelter is also historically significant for the part it played in the link between the cable and electric tramway systems, as it was located for customers waiting to transfer between the Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust electric line on High Street, and the St Kilda Road cable tramway.
The tram shelter at the corner of St Kilda Rd and Lorne Street Melbourne is of architectural significance as one of only five remaining tram shelters from the city cable tram network which were designed as picturesque pavilions in the domestic Edwardian style of the period. The tram shelter is also of architectural significance as an important example of early twentieth century street architecture.