Friday, January 20, 2017

Unnamed, Harcourt Street North Melbourne

A tiny courtyard space behind walk-up flats that look like the work of Housing Commission of Victoria or (more likely) its successor, the Office of Housing. View it here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Milleara Estate/Slater Parade

Now for something different: the industrial internal reserve. Two examples of this lie within the northern portion of Griffin’s Milleara Estate, sandwiched between the Albion-Jacana railway line and the Western Ring Road (the much more well-known reserve in Tuppal Place is approximately 300 metres east). A public notice placed in The Age (June 21 1975, p. 110) by the Town Clerk of the City of Keilor terms the area ‘Slater Parade Group Private Street Scheme.’

Note that the Albion-Jacana railway line initially ran from Sunshine to Glenroy (or, at least, that there was no ‘Jacana’ until the early 1950s – Glenroy was the closest named locale). The area in question is located on the north side of the railway line, highlighted in red on both images. The image on the left is sourced from an advertisement for the Estate (
This section of the Estate does not exist as planned. There is no trace of the westernmost internal reserve - it is lost beneath the bitumen of a large freeway interchange, a confluence of the Western Ring Road and the Calder Freeway.

Past Melways directories show that the industrial precinct had been completed in 1977, in the same timeframe as the designation of a ‘Future Freeway’. Prior to this, the planned freeway was truncated at the Calder Highway, as per the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan, which shows a large gap between the F5 (infrequently referred to as the Northern Ring Road) and F3 (now the Western Ring Road, rerouted to avoid Sunshine West and Ardeer) freeways.

On the left, an image depicting the area in 1976, and on the right, in 1977: the pale pink line indicates a planned freeway.

Remedying this gap came with the loss of Hogan Parade, as well as Prendergast and Tunnecliffe Avenues. It would not be hazardous to assume that the future conditions of the site would problematise its use, as likely intended by Griffin, for residential purposes: this may be the juncture at which it assumed an industrial identity. However, a small number of advertisements in the classifieds of the Melbourne Age (May 21 1966, p. 22) refer to ‘general industry’ zoning in the area of Slater Parade, quashing that assumption; vague sales notices for industrial land in Milleara were also published almost twenty (Age, December 30 1947, p. 7), and forty (Age, October 15 1927, p. 16), years prior, without alluding to a specific locale.

These reserves were visited on a particularly cold Saturday afternoon, and as such, were not explored on foot. The following images depict the few interesting features observed: adjoining businesses have appropriated internal open space for their own means (for parking, storage, and building access, and in one instance, to accommodate a structure). An entrance to the reserve bound by Slater Parade and Beckett and Williams Avenues is also enshrined in the form of a laneway, Slater Lane, which appears public but no doubt serves a purpose for privately owned business.

The aforementioned laneway
What the laneway leads to - a large storage yard

Whatever has occurred within these spaces has continued to abide by the boundaries set in Griffin’s plan; where businesses could have acquired the land in a piecemeal fashion, this did not occur. What we’re left with is just a neat example of how these spaces can function outside of a residential setting.

Victoria Kolankiewicz

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Phelan-Burvale Reserve, Tullamarine Vic

See it here.
Only arguably an IR but it has something many IRs don't have - a reason to pass through it - and combines visibility/opaqueness with function. On these criteria, to be admired. 

 The two pictures below are of a path into, and a drainage area within, the nearby Trade Park.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Glenwaverley Estate 1929

This is in the Melbourne Herald,  13 March 1929, p. 13. I am particularly interested in the quarter-circle park behind the 'Home Sites' on the corner of Union and Springvale Road. It appears that the thoroughfare to the park, though unlabelled, is for rear access to the business sites and the park itself, and would not be commonly referred to as a road (certainly it has not been given a name or a road/street designation).

I'm also fairly confident that this 'park' did not exist. The site today is a cinema and shopping complex.

Friday, October 21, 2016

'North Road Reserve', Avondale Heights, Victoria

See yesterday's post. We visited this one a few minutes later; as you can see, it was somewhat waterlogged. 

Below: I have no idea what this is. One thing I can tell you is, it is not a box on a pole - it's solid wood.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Reserve bounded by Ridge Drive, Glamis Drive, The Crossway, Avondale Heights, Victoria

In preparation for a journal article we are writing with Robert Freestone about the Milleara Estate, Victoria Kolankiewicz (who is getting pretty ubiquitous in this blog, frankly) and I visited a few of the southern Milleara reserves on 7 October 2016. What we found was not massively impressive in terms of use or value, no offence intended towards anyone concerned. More to follow. You can see this particular space here.