Leaving St Vincent Place we headed north along Montague Street, then turned right into Bank Street towards South Melbourne, a suburb in which much of the history has been carefully and consciously preserved. If you’re looking for ghostsigns, this part of town is rich in them. You also pass a kaleidoscope of architectural styles in the space of a few blocks. Continue reading
Back in the early 90s, I worked as a teacher of English to people who had lost their jobs because of the restructuring of the economy. The idea was to retrain former workers from the TCF (textile, clothing and footwear) industries, who came from very diverse cultural backgrounds. Even then, manufacturing was in drastic decline. Back then, I didn’t have much idea how important footwear used to be in Melbourne’s economy. If you want the evidence of that history, suburbs like Clifton Hill are a good place to look. Continue reading
I made my way east from Carlton North, and spent an afternoon wandering through the adjacent suburb of North Fitzroy. Or is it Fitzroy North?
Either way, it’s one of those suburbs where you feel a strong sense of the past. It’s a peaceful place of gently curving streets, established trees, Victorian streetscapes – some of them grand and Italianate Boom-style, some of them humble – corner shops, bluestone lanes, and public reserves. Unlike traditionally working class Fitzroy, North Fitzroy is residential not industrial. And it doesn’t seem to have changed all that much – not as drastically as some suburbs, anyway. There’s a bit of a Victorian vibe.
The ghostsigns reflect the suburb’s residential identity. Continue reading
Asked to name a favourite Victorian building in Melbourne, you might choose the Royal Exhibition Building, the Windsor Hotel or one of those crazy Gothic revival buildings on Collins Street. I’d chuck in a vote for the shot tower on Alexandra Parade, Clifton Hill, a masterpiece of industrial architecture. Continue reading
Victoria Street is one of my favourite suburban streets. It runs from west to east across the top of the city, forming the southern boundary first of North Melbourne and then Carlton, as far as Nicholson Street where it becomes Victoria Parade. A walk along this street reveals diverse architecture, intriguing ghost signs and a few good street art sites.
I picked up my walk at the western end of Victoria Street, close to Guest’s biscuit factory, just outside the old Mulcahys pub, a moderne hotel built in the 1920s which has now been converted into apartments. (I need to create a keyboard shortcut for that phrase as I blog about Melbourne, so frequently does it occur. From now on, Ctrl+A = converted into apartments.) Continue reading