And so to my home suburb – Yarraville.
The Sun Theatre is probably Yarraville’s best known feature, and although it is a principle of my walk to focus on things that are little known rather than landmarks, I can’t pass by the Sun. For one thing, it is such a beautiful Art Deco building, one of the best in Melbourne. For another, it’s a great story of restoration. Continue reading
by Lucia Nardo
The first time I entered the Yarra Coffee Palace was late 1961. Our family had been forced to move from our rented home in Williamstown with its large productive garden. The Palace, with its faded name painted high on the front façade, was altogether different. The dark interior of the building smelled of mould and was layered in dust. Instead of a garden, the land behind the property sported a dilapidated stable, complete with rusted tools and a horse cart. I’d never seen wheels that big on anything. To a small child, used to a compact home, it was confusing and intriguing. This abandoned incarnation of the Yarra Coffee Palace was dense with untold stories. Even at the age of six, I wondered about the people who’d stayed there when it had been a temperance hotel. Continue reading
Walking north towards Yarraville shopping centre, we pass Coles supermarket and reach a row of small houses, behind which is a small park with a new playground. The is the site of the Sinking Village.
We walk from the West Gate bridge north up Hyde Street. Ahead of us, to the right are the big white drums of yet another refinery, Mobil this time (Caltex and Shell are behind us, in Newport.) Opposite Mobil is a Singaporean power company. There’s industry all the way up this road, and signage warning of hazards of various kinds. Not really a place that you’d expect to find a nature reserve.