Sunday, November 15, 2009

St Vincent Place - Albert Park

I had an early finish to the working week and on the way home I decided to drive through one of my favourite Melbourne suburbs of Albert Park. The area lays between the bay and Albert Park Lake. The road around the lake transforms into a Formula 1 race track in the early part of the year. I’m not sure that the residents of Albert Park look forward this noisy intrusion to their otherwise serene environment. With some free time up my sleeve, I decided I would walk the circuit of St Vincent Place and the gardens.

On a very sunny afternoon with the temperature still hovering in the low 30s, the leafy trees surrounding the St Vincent Gardens offered some relief from the hot sun. I'd never experienced the gardens or the surrounding buildings on foot before. Sure, I'd driven around in the car but its not the same. You don't hear the birds or voices within the homes coming from the occasional open doors. There wouldn't be one house that doesn't share pride in this wonderful street. Except for the cars parked in front of the houses, you could be strolling along in the late 1800s.

From Wikipedia
St Vincent Gardens in the Melbourne
suburb of Albert Park, is an Australian park of national significance.
It is an example of nineteenth century residential development around a large landscaped square. Development occurred as a result of a boom following the
Victorian gold rush. It was influenced by similar, urban design in London, but such design on such a scale is unparalleled in Australia.
In the shape of a large rectangular area with semi-circular crescents at either end, the heritage area includes the
St Vincent Place precinct bounded by Park Street, Cecil Street, Bridport Street, Cardigan Place and Nelson Road. The park is bisected, allowing the passage of trams. Several of the streets are lined with the original cobbled blue stone and gutters. It is registered with the National Trust of Australia and on the Victorian Heritage register for its aesthetic, historical, architectural and social significance to the State of Victoria.

Below: An early etching of the bowling green within the St Vincent GardensI wonder when the wind vane was first installed - Take note of the clear blue sky.
The gardens contain the Albert Park Lawn Bowls Club and as I walked through the gardens the members were in the middle of a game so I stopped to watch for awhile. I was surprised to see young people playing what I always imagined was a game for the retired. No white uniforms and white bowls hats here. Jeans and T-Shirts were the uniform for these young players.

A touch of Victoriana

In contrast to the homes of the 1800s, there is the occasional art nouveau or art deco style home - I usually wonder what was demolished on the site to make room for something a little more modern????

I'd love to walk through either one of these gates after my day of work and slip back in time.

The Architecture changes from home to home, ranging from Victorian to Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.

The gardens are well cared for within the park but as I continued my walk looking at the homes on the perimeter of the park, I noticed that the residents had put their own gardens on show for people like me to appreciate.

A Victorian English garden.


  1. Lovely! Your pictures really show the bright, summery sun.
    Not that it is cold in SoCal, but the sun is not as high in our cloudless sky.

  2. I just saw a Qantas ad : LA to Melbourne round trip, with hotel for 1 week, $ 1,299. Cheap! My son and I are going to Hawaii for Christmas and new-year so I won't go to Australia again yet. Air Tahiti Nui has also a deal to Auckland (NZ) with 2 nights in Tahiti for $1,299.

  3. Those rates are soooooo good.
    We are just about to book Emirates for 2 weeks in Paris during March/April at just under A$2000.
    Today we are expecting high 30s in Melbourne with possibly 40 at the top end of the state and we are again on high fire alert because of the devastating fires from last year.

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