Friday, April 27, 2007

Histroy Friday... St Kilda

St Kilda Kiosk, 1950

St Kilda is a seaside suburb of Melbourne that was one of the first towns established back in the 1850's. It was a popluar place to want to live because it gave the immigrants that came to live here in Australia relief from the harsh dry conditions they came to know. The seaside breezes that came in during the afternoons on a hot Summer's day being the big drawcard.
During the 1880's St Kilda became a buzzing area of construction, lots of palatial mansions and hotels being formed by stonemasons. This was especially in an area that was called St Kilda Hill, and in seaside streets, that we know today as Fitzroy, Acland and Grey Streets. The lower areas of St Kilda were not as affluent in nature.

During the Depression of the 1890s, however, St Kilda began to decline. The seaside area became an entertainment precinct for Melbourne's working classes after a tramline was extended south from the Melbourne central city area, and the wealthy people moved further south to more exclusive suburbs such as Brighton.


A rustic view of Luna Park.



Luna Park and The Palais Theatre.

An Italian Engineer named Carlo Catani developed many of the wonderful adornments that we can see today along the foreshore of St Kilda and he began his construction of these back in 1906. Luna Park, Palais Theatre ( where I went to my first concert to see Fergal Sharkey), St Moritz Ice Rink (destroyed by fire) and many other landmarks such as gardens with arches that the community can enjoy even now.
These developments attracted the people of Melbourne and even tourists to come enjoy the seaside towns many festivities and would become a place to make wonderful childhood memories. My own Grandparents grew up in St Kilda together in the early 1930's and many a fond memory of Luna Park and endless Summers spent at the beach are enjoyable to recount still. As my Pa said, "There was no money because of the depression, swimming was free, so it is what we did".
Despite migrationary trends, St Kilda retains a large Jewish population. The legacy of Jewish people in the area is evidenced in the large number of synagogues in the area and the Jewish Museum of Australia, the only one of its kind in the country, which is located in Alma Street.
St Kilda has a very unique arts culture, aswell as attrracting famous artists to its wonderful venues. Many festivals are held throughout the year. St Kilda Festival, Gay Pride March, Melbourne's Midsumma Festival, Melbourne Underground Festival, just to name a few. Of course, I cannot go on without mentioning the wonderful Esplanade Market held every Sunday.
St Kilda is located only 7 kilometres from the CBD. It is a great place to stay. Try out a Bed and Breakfast, or one of many Hotels. Access into town by tram makes it easy to get about and see everything without lifting a foot off the ground.

There is something for everyone 24/7 in the seaside place of St Kilda.




35 comments:

Jules said...

I went through bloglines and found your post about dreams and then came to your blog to comment and the post wasn't there. WTF!!

I have been having wierd dreams but have not had the memory to remember them past the morning.

Aidan said...

There are also some awesome venues, Prince of Wales band room, The Espy (delapidated as it is), the Palais Theatre ( I saw SevenDust there, great night)...

Like any area of Melbourne, the coffee culture is superb. I ride that way once a week along the coast.

There is a large part however, of the night life in St Kilda you neglected to mention... Meaning of course the red light district...

But apart form that it is a lovely town:)

Melly` said...

Did both Sydney and St Kilda have a Luna Park? Does anyone know?

Thanks Cazzie - another armchair travel lesson for me!

Steve said...

i noticed you didn't mention the ladies of the night.....


hmmmmm........another treat for those who are so inclined......

Can't wait till you post about LYGON STREET!

susan said...

Sounds like a fun place with quite a history.

That face over Luna Park, did they recently repaint the eyeballs? Or am I thinking of somewhere else???

Cazzie!!! said...

Jules, LOL, I did do that then put it to draught as I realised I had to do my Friday's History post.
That being said, the dream was freaky and it made me get off me ass and go walk for a few hours on a gorgeous day.

Aidan, Yes for sure, there was so much to say about St Kilda I couldn't put it all in there. My mind boggles with the venues I have been to. Prince of Wales, awesome, loved it when I was at Uni, The Espy, unreal!!!! The Palais, love it too, great atmosphere, ambiance....
Ohhh yeah, the coffee, the cakes, the backlava!!!!!
LOL, I know the red light district still exists, but it does not seem as prevalent as it was say back in the 70's and 80's. Having gone out at night there a bit the last few years I feel safe there and know many people there. The "working girls" seem to stay to themselves :)

Melly, yes they both do have Luna Park. My maternal Grandma grew up going to the Sydney one, and my Paternal Grandparents grew up frequenting the St Kilda one :)

Steve, LOL, refer to the comment I left for Aidan :)
I mentioned Lygon Street a few times as the place we frequen when on our Anniversary dinners and so forth, but I haven't as yet done one for the History post :)

http://idontdomornings.blogspot.com/2006/09/busy-few-daysbusier-days-to-come.html

Susan,I do believe they gave it a face lift and a few of the rides aswell, I am sure it happened the last few years, and yes, the eyes have it too!!

Livy said...

I have just discovered a comment you wrote on someones blog, so I thought I would come and say hello!! Hello!!

Pete said...

I just lurrrrve Melbourne. My Brother lives there so I get to come down from Brisvagas every now and again.....but not nearlly often enough!!

G-Man said...

Cazzie, I love your Friday Posts...
Funny that so many Jewish Folks live in a town named after a Saint!!
Later xoxoxox

david santos said...

Thanks for you work and have a good weekend

MrsCoach2U said...

I love these posts! Should I ever make it to Australia, will you be my travel guide?

Jay said...

If.... er When I make it to Australia sometime in the future, I'm gonna print out all your history lessons and use them as a guide.

poody said...

THIS SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH FUN CAZZIE! i DIDN'T KNOW YA'LL HAD A DEPRESSION AT THE SAME TIME WE DID! i LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT MY FAVORITE PLACE EVERY DAY!

captain corky said...

Good post. Makes me long for the Jersey shore. I miss the ocean.

mist1 said...

Love that b & w photo of the park.

Eternally Curious said...

Hey Cazzie! Thanks for the comment on my blog! Some folks, eh? Wanted to stop by and repay the visit. Great stuff here on your blog...I'll be back! How's Bindi doing? (It is Bindi, isn't it? The pup? Memory isn't what it used to be...LOL!) (^_^)

Reiki 4 Life said...

there are so many lovely places to visit in Australia...i do hope to make it down under some day...

enjoy your weekend Cazzie!

that puppy is sooooooooooooo adorable.

general_boy said...

I have stayed in St. Kilda before but not for quite a few years. Hmmm... must do that again!

Andrew said...

Nice work Cazzie. In five years time it will look so different with altered Upper and Lower Esplanades, the boardwalk along the beach front and something new where the Palace and car park presently is localted and hopefully a renovated Palais.

M said...

There's nothing quite the same as a balmy night on the esplanade.

phishez_rule said...

I've been to the Jewish Museum. It was heartbreaking but so worth it. The guides are survivors of the camps. It amazing what they've been through.

farmwifetwo said...

There's a spare room so I can come and visit one day.... pls :)

Have a good weekend.

Cazzie!!! said...

Livy, Gday lovey, come again soon :)

Pete, glad you love it here, I haven't made it to Brissy yet, but we shall.

G-man, LOL, never thought of it that way mate.

David, thanks, I hope your weekend is great too :)


MsCoach, I hope to get to see all of Oz myself sometime. Then, I can truly say I been everywhere man, LOL.


Jay, yes, I reckon that'd work mate. When I went to Sydney first time on my own a year and a bit ago I didn't know the place very well. So when I needed directions, I just asked the people who man the stalls that sell newspapers on the sidewalk. It was a guaranteed way to find my way about the place and get to meet some locals. They also pointed out the best eateries and coffee shops in their neck of the woods :)


Poody, yes, it was a World wide thing the depression. Rationing of feul and food and everything too. REcycling of materials used to cloth our troops and make machinery and guns and ammo for the War. Recovery of the population post war took time and you know, same thing everywhere..families tried to be families again and it took alot of effort to try to be normal again. Of course, there was the Aussie Women;s Land Army too during the war years. Men went to war and the women had to work the farms and the lines in factories to make produce and even armaments.


Captain Corky, the sea has that effect on you doesn't it? I even love going to a seaside town and having lunch in a pub that lines the shores on a bad weather day. watching the waves roll in and having a meal in a warm place, it is still a great place to be.


Mist1, that is a kiosk that was on the pier/jetty there down at St Kilda. Unfortunately, the St Kilda Pier kiosk was totally destroyed by fire on 11 September 2004. It is surprising that the St Kilda Pier Kiosk even survived at all for almost a century, given its exposure to the elements out there on the pier, but it did.

Eternally Curious, I love your nick name here :) Bindi is growing nicely and is still a cutey...picrures will follow the nest few posts, and maybe some film too :)

Meredith, thanks so much for words of encouragement, love it that you took time to visit, we cannot wait to get Bindi :)

GB, let us know and we can all have a coffee or something :)

Andrew, thanks for your kind words. It was so hard to know how much to include here. There is so much to say abotu St Kilda I could have gone on and on. I don't like my posts to go too long, I want to jam pack info in, include good images and give some idea of the feel of the place.
I cannot wait to see the new St Kilda when they complete the work.

M, here here, I concur :)

Phishez, yes, that is so true, and that they live on to bring the truth to the people, so those that were lost are not forgotten.

Farmwifetwo, but of course :)

Candace said...

You always have the most amazing information. :)

I love the pics of your new little Bindi. ^_^

Josh said...

Sounds like a great place to visit. Love the architecture. :)

paddy said...

Sounds like a nice place. I have a cousin who once upon a time lived in Brighton. I went there to visit, but St. Kilda looks a little more exotic from the photos. She now lives in north Somerset which I would say again from the photos looks very nice indeed.Anyway!
Fergal Sharky, you wont believe it but I went to see The Undertones ferewell concert many moons ago just outside Dublin.It was a terrible rainy day and though they were good we were a bit miserable.
What can I say except I would like to visit your country one day; such a vast diverse continent you would need at least half a year to get around it. I have a friend here in Finland who is a little Tasmanian devil from Hobart who lives here now with his Finish wife and one child. Sorry, I am going on. Thanks, it was indeed a nice post to look and read.
Y:-) Paddy

G-Man said...

G'Day Cazzie..
Or is it G'Nite?
Whatever! Have a great week-end sweetie!

Homo Escapeons said...

Before the Panama Canal was built, Winnipeg, I call it Whateverpeg, was in a race with Chicago to be the hub for transportation and commerce. We lost.

But there is still a remarkable collection of old buildings that have been preserved, inadvertently mind you because nobody wants to take any risks here, anyway your little promenade down memory lane reminded me of that area...OH!
and we have Hookers there too.

You should be the Minister of Tourism.

Cazzie!!! said...

Candace, glad you like the post and our Bindi :)

Josh, that is one of the things I wanted to inculde int he post!!! The houses and the mansions in the area aswell as some of the shops, I will have to do it another day now. The phrase, "a person who loves architecture will love St Kilda"came to mind before I wrote the post. There is so much to write about the town, I feel the areas I covered were loosely done
:(

Paddy, please do go on, I love to hear about people overseas and what they are up to and what towns are like and foods they eat and beverages consumed and comparing climates and surroundings....
Also, I agree it would take a good 6 months to look around Australia..the coast only, then there are towns off the beaten track that would make the trip a longer one too.

Galen, it is now 9:28am Sunday here :)

Homo Esc, glad I got you reminiscing, that is what telling stories are all about. I often come up with so many thoughts I don't know what to write about here... always got something on my mind, YES, even other than 4 kids and my gorgeous husband :)
I never really included the hooker bit because I believe that the people of the area are doing such a marvellous job of trying to step away from that image. The area has so much to offer entertainment and artistically we can just look past it. But, the night life does still go on, the chicks just stay in back alleys and backstreet carparks now..doin; their thang!! lol

ChickyBabe said...

You make me nostalgic for a trip to Melbourne! I love your city, maybe it is time for another visit...

Trundling Grunt said...

Interesting profile. I used to live in a seaside place that was popularised by the railway and then fell into disfavour and neglect. They are very sad.

James Burnett said...

Cazzie, you rock! I swear every time I read your blog I learn some historical tidbit, especially things that make wish I could visit Australia tomorrow. Seriously, I always look forward to your history lessons. I know some travel agents who could learn a thing or two from you.

gawilli said...

Cazzie, I just wanted to stop by and tell you how happy I am that you got some rain! It's been a long time coming and I hope it quenches the thirst!

Cazzie!!! said...

Chickybabe, cool, I hope you do come and enjoy it again then.

Trundling Grunt, sounds like the town featured on the movie "Cars"that is pushed to the wayside and neglected, that is sad too. Wonder what the community can do to attract people back there then..any ideas?

James, thanks so much for your kind words (blushes). I enjoy creating these posts, I felt that I didn't put ebough effort into this one, but, my life is so busy here with the kids right now, I cannot be doing the blogger thing all the time. More to come next Friday :)

Gawilli, we are pleased it rained for sure. The kids thought it a novelty that I had to use the windscreen wipers on the car today, LOL. They made a song up to the rhythm of the wipers :)

John said...

Hi Cazzie.
Just a quick note about copyright. You have used one of my photos in this blog of yours and in this instance I don't mind. But be careful, other people will. Best to use a link to other people's pages instead of what can be seen as 'stealing' others work. As I say, I'm happy for you to use this shot of mine in this instance.
Have a great day.