Carlton North

Carlton North is a residential suburb 4km. north of Melbourne. Its southern boundary is Princes Street/CemeteryRoad. On its west is Princes Park, next to which is the Melbourne General Cemetery.

In 1853 both the Melbourne General Cemetery and a penal stockade came to Carlton North. Melbourne’s first cemetery at the Flagstaff Gardens was over-full by 1849, and a 8 ha. site was laid out to the north. By 1853 the very obvious increase in population persuaded the Government to also close Melbourne’s second cemetery (now the Queen Victoria Market site), to all except those claiming a grave or vault there. The 8 ha. site in Carlton North was doubled and the resulting MelbourneGeneral Cemetery was laid out by the Government Botanist, Ferdinand von Mueller.

The stockade (called the Collingwood Stockade, as Carlton was not named in 1853), was opened beside a bluestone quarry. These sites are now the Lee Street primary school and the Canning Street neighbourhood reserve respectively. Carlton North’s geological structure fortunately had the basaltic land ending just east of the cemetery, which is on mudstone or sandstone.

Carlton (south of Grattan Street) was subdivided and the stockade madean asylum for the next seven years.

Carlton North was subdivided in 1869 between Princes and Fenwick Streets.The final subdivision was at Princes Hill, north of the cemetery, in 1876-9.The settlement was almost all residential, brick, and much of it two storeyedor terraced. The standard was a step up from many of the timber cottagesin Carlton. Around the north of the suburb some of the architecture wasFederation period and Californian bungalows.

Public transport provided three north-south tram services: NicholsonStreet (1887), Rathdowne Street (1889-1936) and Lygon Street (1916). Therewas also an east-west train service at the very north – the Inner Circle(1888-1948). Shopping strips in Carlton North reflect the tram routes, thestrongest areas being in Rathdowne and Nicholson Streets.

Carlton North’s first primary school was opened on the Lee Street asylumsite in 1873. The present building (1877) is on the Victorian Heritage Register.The Princes Hill primary school was opened in 1959.

At its border near Carlton, Carlton North became involved in the HousingCommission’s slum reclamation program when the Lee Street block was proclaimedin 1968. The block was near Princes Street, also threatened with becominga conduit for traffic off the Eastern Freeway. In 1969 Princes Hill residentsparticipated in the formation of the Carlton Association, soon to becomean influential body for changing Government and Council policies. The Commission’sLee Street proposal was stopped and the Association went on to influencetraffic-restraint programs brought in by the Council.

The extremely successful gentrification of Carlton North led a newspapercolumnist to observe in 1992 –

On North Carlton’s gracious streets the student’s bicycles viefor footpath supremacy with well-dressed thirty-something mothers. Pushingtheir pricey strollers, their offspring dressed in Osh-Kosh, these womenhead out of their heritage-coloured terraces en route for banana and gingercake at Cafe Paragon . .

Princes Park is west of Carlton North. It was tentatively reserved as parkland in 1844, permanently reserved in 1854, and the Melbourne council was made one of its joint trustees in 1873. In 1897 the Carlton FootballClub gained permissive occupancy of an oval as its home ground. The Councilbecame the park’s Committee of Management in 1917 and under a special Actleased the oval to the Club in 1966. The oval later became a home groundfor the Hawthorn Football Club, which was replaced by the Footscray FootballClub. In 1993 the oval was named Optus Oval, arising from a sponsorshipdeal. Enlargement of the oval’s capacity and car parking in the park havecaused some friction with local residents.

The Inner Circle railway line ran across the top of Carlton North. Therailway stations lay unmanned after 1948, until the goods line was lastin used in 1980. In 1983 the Carlton North railway station was made a communitycentre and a linear park created along the former train line. The open spacewas contested when the State Labor Government built housing on it in 1992,the Government being opposed by an alliance between residents and left-wingunionists. Ultimately a number of units were built, several on railwaysland that had been commercially leased.

The median house price in Carlton North in 1987 was 38% above the medianfor metropolitan Melbourne and in 1996 it was 85% above the metropolitanmedian.

Carlton North had a census population of7,977 persons in 1986. Over 25% had a degree or higher qualification.

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