The 1857 Mechanics Institute Hall is located in South Yarra, a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and it was recently converted into a state-of-the-art inner city retreat.
The new one-bedroom, two-bath mechanics institute residence features “huge free-flowing entertaining and living zones plus soaring vaulted ceilings!”
Photos by: Greg Hocking
Some Info About South Melbourne:
South Melbourne, between the South Bank of the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay, originated at the elevated area first known as Emerald Hill, 2 km south of central Melbourne.
Emerald Hill, an old volcanic outcrop, stood out from the surrounding swamp land and had greener vegetation. Its elevation above the Yarra delta attracted the initial European settlement. During summer, the swamp land dried out and could be used for recreation or military training.
During the 1840s, land sales in South Melbourne were infrequent. In 1852, a survey led to the sale of several lots. Several Christian, Presbyterian, Wesleyan, and Catholic churches were granted land grants. Settlement in the area began in Sandridge, which was near Melbourne and was connected to the town of Port Melbourne by a track.
The residents of the city of Melbourne quickly established the town of Emerald Hills. Within two years, they complained that the council was not giving them enough value for their rates. On May 26, 1855, the town declared itself a separate borough.
At the time of the survey of Emerald Hill in 1852, a temporary township was created west of St Kilda Road, south of the river. It was Canvastown, a low-lying area with tent accommodation for goldfield immigrants. It lasted for two years and gave its name to the first school (1853) in the area at the corner of Clarendon and Banks Street.
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