The evolution of South Melbourne

As many people know I have an interest in the history and development of project, and construction, management:  This includes an interest in the way the built environment is created, adapted, and evolves.

We have lived and worked in modern-day South Melbourne for the last 20+ years, so I thought it was time to focus on history closer to home…… using images of maps I’ve found over the years that show the development of our suburb during its relatively short existence.

The city of Melbourne was founded on the North bank of the Yarra River in 1835. Within 20 years, the road pattern for Emerald Hill had been established (now South Melbourne) and the rail lines to Port Melbourne and St. Kilda built.  This map shows the area in 1855:

By 1880 tram lines were under construction connecting through to the city:

The shops in the background are different but the buildings remain unchanged.

By 1890 most of the features recognizable today were in place (Albert Park is the location of the Melbourne F1 race each year):

Thirty years later in 1921 the tram network was established. Most of the tram lines are still operational and the railways have been converted to light rail and join the tram network in the city:

Fast forward to 2022 and apart from changes in the municipal boundaries, not much has changed:

And South Melbourne is still a great place to live and work.

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