A Time Traveller’s Guide to St Kilda Junction

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image of current day St Kilda JunctionBy Robert Mclean

 

What was the Junction like in the early years of St Kilda? What were the events that caused changes to be made to the Junction?

 

From the 1830′s, when the area was colonised, through to the gold rush and onto what were the reasons for the junction’s changes. This article will showcase some of the highlights of the area from the view point of the St Kilda Junction, specifically from the south bound view of High street (now St Kilda road) towards the Junction Hotel.

 

The Junction hotel was opened in 1853 and quickly became a symbol of the area. During this period the roads were still dirt, with paved gutters for the removal of storm water. The colonial feel to the area was shown by the buildings having flag poles on their roofs.

 

Over the next 50 years a flood of money started coming in to the area from the gold rush and in 1901, with the celebration of federation, a large arch was installed into the junction hotel, with the opening hosted by the visiting duke and duchess of York. The roads began to have cable trams installed and the population increased.

 

In the 1950′s St Kilda Junction was considered a dangerous traffic area, so a temporary roundabout was installed into the area in 1955. But, due to political debating at the time, the local council removed the roundabout in 1956 due to it having bad drainage, and the funding for a permanent one to be installed couldn’t be reached.

 

During the 1970’s, due to the growth of the area, High street was widened resulting in the destruction of over 100 buildings to make way for the larger road – the Junction hotel was one of the buildings demolished to make way for the new infrastructure and wider road. With the Nepean Highway traveling under the new junction, the area now had traffic lights and widened roads.

 

After taking a road trip to St Kilda and seeing the junction in the current day, I discovered that the location has almost no reference points from the photos taken of it in the 1960′s. To test this for yourself, go to the junction and examine some old photos of it; seeing if you can find where buildings used to be. As time changes so does the need for more space.

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