Sunday, January 28, 2018

Going down around us

We live on St Kilda Road, a proper boulevard. Every so often there is a push to rename it St Kilda Boulevard, but bugger orf. It is St Kilda Road.

It was once lined with grand Victorian houses, most of which have been demolished. A book about the demolition company, Whelan the Wrecker, mentioned a worker who was involved in the demolition of Illoura. He was very experienced at knocking down buildings of the Victorian era. He was very troubled about knocking down Illoura.

The old Illoura.


Illoura now, and there are vague plans to demolish this replacement building.


It was improved by a clever paint job.



So, many grand houses were knocked down for office towers to be built. However, we have almost gone the full circle with many of these office building being knocked down or adapted to build towers of apartments. Ours was one of the early ones. We live in the cheap house in the best street, now it seems.

The Victorian Racing Centre was once here where we now live. I do vaguely remember it. At the time there was no reason to take much notice.


Let me show you some of the recent projects and future ones.

Where this building is was once Kings Cross Plaza. There was a huge 711 and a large brick paved plaza and other shops for local people. See the place with the large decked area. You want live there? Expect to pay millions of dollars to buy it and thousands to rent each week. 


More modest and seemingly built for rental, this apartment building was built behind Albert Park Manor, which was also converted to flats. When we moved here it was a boutique hotel. It was once a Catholic hospital, run by two sisters, at times a place where priests went to die.


This is Lucient. It was was built where there was once a three storey 60s brick building, where on the ground floor of the building one could get our hair cut, buy a greeting card and buy flowers. Fifteen years in one place, one does see changes.


This dominant building was a pale colour when we moved to The Highrise, quite shabby. It was repainted a dark grey that has faded over the years. No one could say it is lovely building. It is to be demolished, replaced with this below, which will actually sit better on the landscape and not be quite so tall.



This one is a bit puzzling. It was quite a modern office building of several storeys height on the corner of Bowen Crescent and Kingsway, but it has been goned.


More apartments, I suppose. The low rise building now revealed has a central court and most of the tenants are in medical fields. It has just been painted dark grey and looks much better.


Lastly, the ugly facade of the old police station can be glimpsed behind the wrap advertising the pretentiously named Mayfair. While it was going to be a building conversion to apartments, now I don't know. 


Note the architect........designing from the grave? Zaha Hadid 31/10/50 -  31/03/16. What are developers like!

29 comments:

  1. Progress. Which this dinosaur thinks is a very mixed bag.

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    1. EC, the three storey brick building I mentioned was pretty ordinary. While we lost a bit of view, Lucient is quite a nice building, and oh that we could afford a place there. But I do agree with you.

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  2. Andrew I love your first photo

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    1. Gosia, I expect everyone would now say it should have been kept.

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  3. Why, oh, why the urge for everything to have a name change???? For goodness sake! Have some people nothing better to do with their time?

    What a shame the old Illoura is no long.

    I think some developers and architects have their head up their collective nether regions!

    Have yourself a good week, Andrew. Stay cool! :)

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    1. Lee, one classic one is our old Spencer Street Station, renamed Southern Cross, blah. You can say arses on my blog if you feel the need.

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  4. We don't like name change especially for a major road they should keep in St. Kilda Rd.
    Wheelan the Wrecker wrecked so many beautiful buildings, such a pity. One of the sons married in the 60's, married the women I did my training with! Never heard from her since.

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    1. Margaret, she married well and is no doubt very comfortable now. Mind, you with your piles of $100 notes did ok too.

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  5. If all new builds resembled the original Illoura I shall start liking architects again.
    Although! There is a new-ish aged care home in Dandy Rd Arcare that is devotion to Art Deco and lovely eye candy.

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    1. I had a look, that is a very lovely building.

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    2. Jayne, don't hold your breath. Thanks for the link, which I am always too lazy to do for comments. It is an attractive building. Have you booked your space yet?

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    3. River, isn't it ever. A modern building can have an appeal to those who appreciate older architecture.

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    4. Cheeky bugger - I haven't a spare $million to darken the door, let alone get my nose inside lol.

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  6. Going back a few years the Aboriginal politician Charlie Perkins suggested to John Laws that every Street or Highway and including Towns and Cities should change their names to Aboriginal names, J L then replied "Great Idea, Charlie, You kick off first".

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    1. A lot of Adelaide areas now have the Aboriginal names also written on the signs, which I think is a lovely idea.

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    2. Victor, while not a fan of JL, and I don't think you are either, it was a good reply.

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    3. River, you have always had more Aboriginal place names. I wonder why? Using Aboriginal names in addition is a good idea. Some tourist hotspots here have Chinese signage.

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  7. I do like old Victorian buildings, but I suspect a lot of them have many small rooms inside making them a bit of a rabbit warren and hard to get around in. If the facade could be retained while the inner is rebuilt, that would be good. I think the clever paint job in picture three does make a lot of difference.
    I like the building in picture seven, lots of lovely balconies for people to sit out and get a bit of fresh air.

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    1. River, about Victorian building, yes, yes and yes. They were dark and pokey. Yes, that building when the apartments were being sold were advertised as having Winter Gardens, which are front balconies that have huge louvre windows to open and let the air in.

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  8. The neighborhoods with ole Victorian homes in some area in United States sell quite easy. Usual there up date and I've seen some turn in to fancy little eating places.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, as I well know, the US has some terrific buildings from so many periods.

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  9. I'm impressed by that paint job on the 'new' Illoura. Still doesn't beat the original though.

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    1. Ad Rad, the paint job on the new Illoura has already faded and it doesn't look much now, but it was a good idea.

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  10. yes it is hard to fathom our progress policies. Hopefully all the new buildings will be better than the old ones but it is a shame to lose ones like in the first photo.

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    1. Diane, I am not against new buildings if they are well designed and if they replace very ordinary buildings, but sadly that is not the way things work.

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  11. Melbourne only had two unique boulevards - StKilda Rd and Royal Parade. Beautifully designed homes, gracious green trams, schools and other organisations with enormous gardens, and endless rows of mature elm trees.

    Shame Melbourne, shame.

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    1. Hels, I cannot disagree.

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  12. Sacred bleu! Buildings around there go up and down like a harlots drawers Andrew! All those beautiful old homes, a bit sad but I guess one family homes just took up too much high density real estate.

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    1. Grace, I think most of them could have been repurposed. I think a number were used as boarding houses towards the end of their lives. I wouldn't know anything about a harlot's drawers.

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