Monday, May 13, 2013

Over the line

A pedestrian bridge used to cross the railway line here at the end of Boundary St. The piece of concrete in the foreground is all that remains of that bridge.
People would cross the line from densely populated Montague to work at Kitchens or Dunlops. I'm told it was called the Tipperary Bridge. At that time, the railway line was busy - so much busier than today - carrying freight as well as people.
When it came to be demolished, people occupied the bridge and were forcibly removed by authorities. Without the bridge, they had to walk round by Ingles Street to get to Boundary Street and the factories on the other side.
These two pictures that follow show the bridge as it was experienced by people living close by and from the air.
image Fred Nicholson

State Library of Victoria
The pedestrian bridge as well as the Railway Reserves and Dunlops can be seen in this aerial image - one of many by Charles Pratt. This image is just to tantalise you into following this link to see the image at a high resolution where you can explore the world of the photo by zooming in.
Do you have any recollections of this place?

Monday, May 6, 2013

This will be the site for a school

Following a sustained campaign by Two Schools Now, the Age brought the news on Sunday that money would be set aside in the state budget to purchase the site for a new school. In case you are not familiar with the site at 129-161 Ferrars St, here is a picture of the frontage of the site which is currently owned by Melbourne University.  The site is well located for South Melbourne, Southbank, Montague and public transport. The budget allocation is expected to be for the site acquisition and site planning. Further funding will be required to build the school by which time other developments in Montague will be well underway.
129-161 Ferrars St
Good news though this is, it is clear that there is still a long road ahead. Involving parents, community leaders and educators throughout the long gestation of the school will be important because this will not be a conventional school along familiar lines. It will be a school in a high rise high density context. Examples of other schools in such locations around the world will need to be explored for relevance and adaptation to this context. The site is surrounded by many potential high rise development sites. It makes sense that all developments being planned and their surroundings should be child and family friendly. Every new development near the site should now actively consider its proximity to the school in the analysis of the site context. The interfaces of the new residential developments to Ferrars St will need to be pedestrian friendly and entry points to garages will need to be thought through. The current approach is driving the kids to school will not be an option in this location. That means that even though the site is very well situated for the 96 tram route, the access and approaches will need to be strengthened and made safe for pedestrians. The processes for establishing not just a building but a community around Albert Park Secondary College are a good starting point for this long haul towards a new model school of excellence for the future.
All this suggests that community involvement in a precinct plan for Montague that considers community infrastructure, open space and access and movement networks is essential.
See also Shaun Carney's excellent piece in this morning's Herald Sun

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Looking towards the future

At three quarter time when it looked like Port could never come back, the late afternoon sun shone on North Port Oval. The Norm Goss stand is a great place to contemplate the current and future shape of Montague and Fishermans Bend - with the former Kitchens industrial complex in the foreground and the towers of Yarra's Edge behind.
While thus distracted, Port went on to beat the Casey Scorpions 15.11.101 to 14.14.98. What was it that Gary Ayres said at the three quarter time break when Port was four goals down?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Where is ... FBURA?

Well, having established that it is not Fishermans Bend as locally understood, but the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area, where is it exactly?
Follow this link to the former Department of Planning and Community Development map.