Thursday, October 10, 2013

Foundation stories

PMHPS finds it endlessly fascinating that it is still possible to 'read' the shaping stories of Port Melbourne in its street layout - the influence of the Lagoon and the Railway in particular.
This is well explained in this report: 'Perhaps the most significant element of Port Melbourne's infrastructure in terms of its ability to demonstrate aspects of the history of the place is its street layout. A reading of the history of the suburb reveals the background to the siting of the original settlement and its main route to Melbourne, the subsequent early surveyed street layout back from Beach Road along the axis of Bay St, the influence of the siting of the railway line in effectively dividing the suburb in two, and the much later and quite distinct planned layout of the model housing estates west of the railway line. (will post about those another day)
The original topography of Port Melbourne, is also reflected in the street layout. This is most important to our ability to visualise large natural features such as the lagoon which dominated local affairs for so long. Few suburbs have a street layout which so distinctly reflects different phases of its history.'
All the elements referred to above, apart from the 20th century housing estates - can be clearly seen  in this 1860 plan which would still help you find your way round Port Melbourne today.
The Borough of Sandridge 1860

Port Melbourne: A Thematic History prepared for the City of Port Phillip by Allom Lovell and Associates 1994


  1. Fascinating reading is a unique layout. Sad the lagoon is gone, but lovely to have the parks...a fine trade off..

  2. Completely agree Barbara - The Lagoon story is very stimulating to the imagination

  3. Agree that it is very interesting to see what a dominant feature the lagoon once was, and great that we now have parks in its place. Would be also interesting in a future blog to perhaps hear a bit more about the history of the lagoon and how it changed througout time before being filled in?

  4. Only too happy to oblige in future posts. Thanks for the suggestion!


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