This photo shows what I think is Condell Park c1935, but I am not really sure. It does not use the name but the description accompanying it states: “The only official play-ground, situated right opposite the Town Hall, bounded on the North by ramshackle cottages.” The slope of the ground suggests a point of view from the south side of Condell St near the corner of Napier St.

mp010427 Fitzroy history - the only official playground

Courtesy of F. Oswald Barnett Collection, State Library of Victoria / ID: mp010427 / photographer: Frederick Barnett / copyright: Oswald Barnett Collection, State Library of Victoria / used under the fair dealings provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 / c1935

condellpark Fitzroy history - the only official playground

Now Condell park looks like this, but I am not sure how old the church spire is in the background, as it is not evident in the photo above. Have I go it wrong? Is the park in the top photo actually on another side of the town hall?

There are many other small parks in Fitzroy. I don’t know the history of the various sites, but I have commented on the lack of names of the parks on the corner of George St and Charles St and on King William St. I don’t want to read too much into the notes for this photo, but they can read to suggest that the other parks were not ‘official’ or had different uses in the past.

Fitzroy history – the only official playground

8 thoughts on “Fitzroy history – the only official playground

  • 24 June 2009 at 3:18 pm
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    Hi Brian,

    Check out http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/maps/historical/1945melb/l_sheets/848b2d.jpg – aerial photo from 1945. Have made this blog the basis of today’s quiz for some very interested parties (hence the supposed spike in hits). We’ve had lots of good feedback for and against the proposition of the photo showing Condell Street Park – the jury is still out!

    Most plausible explanation is that the photo is from corner of Wood Street and Condell Street, thus missing the spire in the background. I’m not convinced – demolition of the area to make the Atherton Gardens Estate had parcels of open space, so it could be from there.

    Love your blog!

    Cheers,

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    • 24 June 2009 at 3:50 pm
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      Today’s quiz? Please post your theories. Yes there is a spike in traffic!

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    • 3 December 2015 at 4:31 pm
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      yes brotherhood told me it is view from the back of them ,however i dont believe so as you cant see towards carlton ,i believe it is back of houses in young st formely between gertude and king william ,nos 171 173

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  • 25 June 2009 at 10:43 am
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    Ooo love these old photo puzzles :)
    Don’t forget a lot of these old ‘uns were printed in reverse from the negative, so it could fit in with the current-day pic, spire may be out of shot.

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  • 10 November 2009 at 3:33 pm
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    Brian, I believe that the playground is photographed from the corner of Wood Street and Condell Street and at this point the spire on StMarks Church would not be visible. As a child I lived in a house that was where the playground now fronts Napier Street the house was right beside the creche.

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    • 10 November 2009 at 3:50 pm
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      Thanks. I am struggling to make sense of this photo, as the view in Google streetview (embedded above) still puts the spire in the middle of the landscape.

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  • 12 November 2009 at 1:02 pm
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    Hi Il ove the old photo – Fizroy has so much history

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  • 16 July 2015 at 5:49 pm
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    The view is from the corner of Napier and Condell St. My brother Beau was nearly right and I assume that is him and our mother pictured in the upstairs window of 193 Napier St. I estimate that the photo was taken around 1948/49. We lived at this address until the late 1950’s when we moved to a Housing Commission house in West Heidelberg.
    There had been a fire in the house on the corner and there was a number of large wooden beams placed in the shell to support the row of houses (were shops?).
    When the tenants were relocated the buildings were demolished along with those behind them facing Condell and Woods St (circa 1959) and at some time after this the existing park was extended through to Napier St.

    Reply

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