Albert Park, Victoria

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Albert Park
MelbourneVictoria
Port Melbourne Bayside Foreshore Promenade.jpg
Albert Park foreshore, near Beaconsfield Parade
Albert Park is located in Melbourne
Albert Park
Albert Park
Coordinates 37°50′31″S 144°57′00″E / 37.842°S 144.950°E / -37.842; 144.950Coordinates: 37°50′31″S 144°57′00″E / 37.842°S 144.950°E / -37.842; 144.950
Population 5,955 (2011)[1]
 • Density 1,861/km2 (4,820/sq mi)
Established 1860s
Postcode(s) 3206
Area 3.2 km2 (1.2 sq mi)
Location 3 km (2 mi) from Melbourne
LGA(s) City of Port Phillip
State electorate(s) Albert Park
Federal Division(s) Melbourne Ports
Suburbs around Albert Park:
Port Melbourne South Melbourne Melbourne
Port Melbourne Albert Park Melbourne
Middle Park Middle Park

Albert Park is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 3 km south of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Port Phillip. At the 2011 Census, Albert Park had a population of 5,955.

The suburb of Albert Park extends from the St Vincent Gardens to Beaconsfield Parade and Mills Street. It was settled residentially as an extension of Emerald Hill (South Melbourne). It is characterised by wide streets, heritage buildings, terraced houses, open air cafes, parks and significant stands of mature exotic trees, including Canary Island Date Palm and London Planes.

Since 1996 Albert Park has been home to the Australian Grand Prix.

History[edit]

Indigenous Australians first inhabited the area that is now Albert Park around 40,000 years ago.[citation needed] The area was a series of swamps and lagoons.

The main park after which the suburb was named was declared a public park and named in 1864 to honour Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert.[2]

Albert Park was used as a garbage dump, a military camp and for recreation before the artificial lake was built.

In 1854 a land-subdivision survey was done from Park Street, South Melbourne, to the northern edge of the parkland (Albert Road). St Vincent Gardens were laid out and the surrounding streets became the best address for successful citizens. Street names commemorated Trafalgar and Crimean War personalities.[3]

St Vincent Gardens in 1878, Rochester Terrace is in the background
Kerferd Road Pier in 1905

Heritage Victoria notes that Albert Park's St Vincent Gardens "is historically important as the premier 'square' development in Victoria based on similar models in London. It is significant as the largest development of its type in Victoria and for its unusual development as gardens rather than the more usual small park" and "was first laid out in 1854 or 55, probably by Andrew Clarke, the Surveyor-General of Victoria. The current layout is the work of Clement Hodgkinson, the noted surveyor, engineer and topographer, who adapted the design in 1857 to allow for its intersection by the St Kilda railway line. The precinct, which in its original configuration extended from Park Street in the north to Bridport Street in the south and from Howe Crescent in the east to Nelson Road and Cardigan Street in the west, was designed to emulate similar 'square' developments in London, although on a grander scale. The main streets were named after British naval heroes. The development of the special character of St Vincent Place has been characterised, since the first land sales in the 1860s, by a variety of housing stock, which has included quality row and detached houses and by the gardens which, although they have been continuously developed, remain faithful to the initial landscape concept."

St Vincent's is a garden of significant mature tree specimens. It is registered with the National Trust and is locally significant for the social focus the gardens provide to the neighbourhood. Activities in the park range from relaxing walks, siestas to organised sports competition. The Albert Park Lawn Bowls Club was established in 1873 and the Tennis Club established 1883, on the site of an earlier croquet ground.

Geography[edit]

Albert Park features part of the massive Albert Park Reserve (formerly South Park in the 19th century until it was also renamed after Prince Albert) and is located nearby. It is a significant state park managed by Parks Victoria. It is also known as the site of the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit.

Commercial centres[edit]

Shops and terrace houses along commercial Bridport Street

Commercial centres include Bridport Street, with its cafes and shops[4] and Victoria Avenue, known for its cafes, delicatessens and boutiques.

Beach areas[edit]

Albert Park has a long beach frontage, with several distinctive features, including many grand buildings (such as the Victoria Hotel, a grand hotel and former coffee palace, now café bar, built in 1887) and Victorian terrace homes; Kerferd Kiosk, an iconic Edwardian bathing pavilion and Kerferd Pier, which terminates Kerferd Road and is a jetty onto Port Phillip, used for fishing by many and sharks have occasionally been found around it.[citation needed]

Albert Park and Lake[edit]

The lake is popular with strollers, runners and cyclists. Dozens of small yachts sail around the lake on sunny days. Only the north eastern part of the park and lake is actually in the suburb, the rest is in the neighbouring suburbs of South Melbourne, Melbourne, Middle Park and St Kilda.

Housing[edit]

Albert Park has outstanding examples of Victorian and Edwardian housing

Albert Park is composed mainly of Victorian terrace and semi-detached housing. Many residential areas are in heritage overlays to protect their character.

Transport[edit]

Beaconsfield Parade is the main beachside thoroughfare, between St Kilda and Port Melbourne, which runs along the Port Phillip foreshore. Richardson Street and Canterbury Road follows a similar inland route south to St Kilda. The main road arterial is Kerferd Road, a wide boulevard lined with elm trees and a central reservation, which connects from South Melbourne's Albert Road. Pickles Street, Victoria Avenue and Mills Street are the main roads running west and east toward South Melbourne.

Several tram routes service Albert Park, including tram route 1(along Victoria Avenue); tram route 96 (light rail parallel to Canterbury Road); and tram route 112 (along Mills Street). Until 1987, Albert Park was serviced by the St Kilda railway line, with Albert Park railway station being located at Bridport Street. However, the line was closed at that time and its right of way now forms the route of the 96 tram line.

Bus services run through the suburb.

There are segregated cycle facilities along the beach and Canterbury Roads, with marked bicycle lanes elsewhere.

Sport[edit]

Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg racing at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix

The suburb has been home to the Formula One Australian Grand Prix since 1996. The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit is run on the public roads. The choice of Albert Park as a Grand Prix venue was controversial, with protests by the Save Albert Park group. In preparing the Reserve for the race existing trees were cut down and replaced during landscaping, roads were upgraded, and facilities were replaced.

Bob Jane Stadium is located in Albert Park. It was the former home of the South Melbourne Football Club and is home to Victorian Premier League team South Melbourne FC. The purpose built football (soccer) stadium was built on the site of the old Lakeside Oval, which was an historic Australian rules football venue.

Albert Park is also where NBL's basketball team, the Melbourne Tigers's administration is based, although they play their games at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Royal Park.

Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre is a large swimming centre, which hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games squash, swimming and diving events. MSAC has basketball and table tennis courts too.

In December 2006 polo returned to Albert Park Reserve after an absence of 100 years.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Albert Park (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Kennedy, B: Australian Place Names, page 3. ABC Books, 2006
  3. ^ Monash University online gazetteer Australian Places: Albert Park.
  4. ^ MelbourneAustralia.com.au suburb information "Albert Park – Home of the Australian F1 Grand Prix" Accessed 30 September 2006.
  • Barnard, Jill and Keating, Jenny, "People's Playground: A History of the Albert Park", Chandos Publishing, 1996.
  • Melway, 29th Edition, Ausway Publishing, 2001.

External links[edit]