Thursday, May 25, 2017

Emerald Hill Heritage Precinct - April 2017

It was a bit of a grey day today.
Looking for something to do in Melbourne on Good Friday our choices were a little limited, the day was overcast and threatening rain and nothing much was open. With Sam keen to accompany me I started looking for a walk close to town. Now there was some good news though, with everything closed it wouldn't be hard finding parking spot in the city, with that in mind we headed up to South Melbourne to do the Emerald Hill Heritage Precinct Walk. I can't say that this walk had been on my radar of great walks that I want to do for a long time, actually until I opened the guide book that morning I'd never thought of it at all. The good news was that it was south of the CBD, so half an hour after leaving home on this grey morning we were parking the car opposite the Albert Park Light Rail Station and setting off.
Melbourne's old terrace houses are a feature of this walk.
Now in case you're wondering where the Emerald Hill bit comes in well apparently back in the ye olde days South Melbourne was known as Emerald Hill, yeah who knew? To be honest you've got to wonder why they changed it to South Melbourne as Emerald Hill certainly has a better ring about it. Making our way along the almost deserted Madden and Bridport Street's we started our terrace house appreciation stroll. A lot of these old terrace houses date back to the 1800's and are a product of the gold rush. 

This would be a very nice part of Melbourne to live.....unfortunately it's out of my price range.
Meandering along through the grey streets we almost circumnavigated St Vincent Gardens. I didn't get a photo of the pleasant gardens though as it appears that all the local families had converged en-mass and there is nothing more creepy than a old bloke wondering around with a DSLR around his neck. The sense of community was impressive though, I imagine with the local terrace houses having postage stamp sized gardens then the gardens make a pleasant substitute for a back yard. I come from a more distant suburb where I know my immediate neighbours but if you asked me to ID someone from a couple of houses down the street I'd have no idea. Reaching Ferrars Street we crossed over the deserted St Kilda Light Rail before doubling back south to the old Hellenic RSL building.
Today's walk criss-crossed the St Kilda light rail line.
The old Hellenic RSL Hall.
Standing in the middle of the deserted James Service Place I got a photo of the old St Vincent de Paul's Boys Orphanage which dates back to the 1850's, before heading around the corner onto Napier Street and visiting the blander St Vincent de Paul's Girls Orphanage, I shudder to think what these children went through back in the day. After sheltering for awhile while we waited for a passing heavy shower to move on we headed up towards the old South Melbourne Town Hall, checking out even more beautifully restored terrace houses on the way. Heading along to Cecil Street we passed what must be an old corner store, the faded old advertisements still visible on the facade. 
The old St Vincent de Paul's Boys Orphanage dates back to the 1850's.
Still more small terrace houses and blue stone lanes.
Melbourne's streets were pretty well deserted this morning.
South Melbourne Town Hall, the high rise buildings in the CBD are cloaked in cloud in the distance.
We were now basically zig zagging our way towards South Melbourne Market, heading through some tiny bluestone streets. With the CBD skyline frequently disappearing into the low cloud we made a short diversion down Coventry Street to check out a heritage listed portable iron cottage. The Iron Cottage is another left over from the gold mining era when portable housing was in high demand and is one of only a couple left, it certainly looks a little incongruous in the leafy streets of South Melbourne. Doubling back up Coventry Street our stroll was coming to an end as we crossed the old pedestrian bridge over the light rail again, before we arrived at the deserted South Melbourne Market.  With all the caf├ęs either closed or absolutely chockers with punters needing their caffeine fix we decided to head back to the car and head home to get our fix.

This old house must have been a corner store at one stage of it's life.
Conditions over head were starting to brighten up.
The old Dorcas Street Primary School was opened in 1880....and closed in 1997, no doubt making a property developer happy.
The Uniting Church features an historic heritage listed pipe organ, although being Good Friday I thought it best that I didn't pop in for a squiz.

The Dirt.
We walked 4.9 kilometres and climbed a massive 12 metres on our Good Friday stroll. I found this walk in Melbourne's Best Bush, Bay & City Walks by Julie Mundy. This very easy walk is a pleasant enough stroll, if history or architecture is your thing then it should be on your to do list, otherwise save it for when you have a couple of hours to kill and you're in the area. 
Relevant Posts.

Don't worry, we're probably lost.....

Nixon Place

This old Portable Ironhouse is also heritage listed, it looks a little out of place surrounded by flash terrace houses.

Heading back to the car, it's not all old terrace houses in South Melbourne.

Heading home after our big walk I suggested to Sam that I needed a my banana massaged that we should go in and try a genuine therapeutic massage.....

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