St Kilda Road, the boulevard leading south from the city, being the road reserve commencing at Princes Bridge, Melbourne to a point close to Henry Street, Windsor near the St Kilda Junction, including the roadway, medians, garden beds, kerbing, footpaths, trees, the Edmund Fitzgibbon Memorial, and a single lamp post on the east median, south of High Street.
St Kilda Road developed from Baxter's Track which led from Melbourne to Baxter's Stockyard in St Kilda from the 1830s. As early as the 1840s, the east side of St Kilda Road was chosen as the location of public institutions, such as the first Immigrants Home, and Governor La Trobe had reserved a site for a Government House in the nearby Domain by 1840. By the early 1850s St Kilda Road was a main thoroughfare and more institutions were built along it, such as Victoria Barracks (1856-72), Melbourne Grammar School (1856), the Observatory (1861) and the School for the Blind (1866). In the mid-1870s, the first allotments along St Kilda Road, near Fawkner Park, were auctioned for residential development. Improvements were undertaken to St Kilda Road in the late 1880s, prompted by the introduction of cable tramways along the length of the road in 1888. The road was soon after referred to as a 'boulevard'. The ceremonial and symbolic importance of St Kilda Road was enhanced with the construction of the Shrine of Remembrance in 1934 which incorporated the vista along St Kilda Road and Swanston Street. With the 1950s rezoning of land along St Kilda Road to allow for non-residential development, the character of the built form along St Kilda Road began to change, with the demolition of nineteenth century residences and construction of commercial and office buildings. The road itself has remained a boulevard, and community appreciation of it continued into the late twentieth century. St Kilda Road continues to be the southern gateway to Melbourne and an important thoroughfare connecting the southern suburbs with the city, and it retains its role as a location for public ceremonies, such as the annual Anzac Day parade, and gatherings.
St Kilda Road, Melbourne is approximately four kilometres in length. It is a tree-lined boulevard which includes the road reserve commencing at Princes Bridge, Melbourne to a point close to the intersection with Henry Street, Windsor near the St Kilda Junction. It includes a wide carriageway, comprising a central roadway with tram tracks, flanked by medians, outer traffic lanes, and wide footpaths. St Kilda Road has important views to the Shrine of Remembrance, and the 1908 memorial to Edmund Fitzgibbon is located on a median near the intersection of St Kilda Road and Linlithgow Avenue.
For much of its length between Linlithgow Avenue and High Street the central roadway and outer traffic lanes are separated by median plantings of Plane Trees (Platanus× aceriflolia). There are border plantings of Elms: Ulmus procera (English Elms), Ulmus x hollandica (Dutch Elms) and Ulmus x hollandica 'purpurascens' (Purple-leaved Dutch Elms) along the east and west edge of the outer traffic lanes. Plantings along St Kilda Road vary in age with most trees either mature to over-mature.
This site is part of the traditional land of the Kulin Nation.
How is it significant?
St Kilda Road is of historical and aesthetic significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects.
Importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics.
Why is it significant?
St Kilda Road is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
St Kilda Road is historically significant as one of Melbourne's longest and grandest major thoroughfares. For over a century this European-style boulevard has had an iconic status as the southern gateway to the city. Dating from the 1850s, St Kilda Road was developed into a magnificent tree-lined boulevard during the late nineteenth century and was the location of some of Victoria's major public institutions. From the 1880s Melbourne's wealthy constructed impressive residences at this prestigious address, and from the 1950s it became a centre for commercial activity. St Kilda Road has been used for ceremonial and celebratory processions including those associated with the Duke of Edinburgh's visit to Melbourne in 1867, the opening of the International Exhibition of 1880, and the opening of the Australian Federal Parliament in 1901. It remains the site of Victoria's annual Anzac Day march, Moomba parades and political protests. [Criterion A]
St Kilda Road is significant as a fine and representative example of a boulevard. It was one of the first of Melbourne's main roads (Royal Parade, Flemington Road, Dandenong Road and Queens Parade) to be laid out as a boulevard around 1889, and is the longest metropolitan boulevard in Melbourne. Boulevards are wide and tree-lined roads which often separate traffic types with medians strips. They are an urban design form which characterised the development of European cities from the 1750s and became evident in Australia from the mid-nineteenth century. St Kilda Road demonstrates the characteristics of a boulevard at a high level, with consistent medians and trees extending almost the whole length of the road, for approximately four kilometres, although there is variation in the intactness of some of the plantings. St Kilda Road has developed over time to safely accommodate many different forms of traffic, including trams, cars, bicycles and buses. [Criterion D]
St Kilda Road is of aesthetic significance as an iconic boulevard which has been recognised as a place of beauty and a visually outstanding element in Melbourne's urban landscape. A broad and stately thoroughfare, its intact and impressive plantings of mature Elm and Plane trees beautify the southern access to the city. The overarching tree canopies are of considerable visual appeal, provide a sense of enclosure and exemplify the aesthetic use of trees as a road design device. The sweeping views between the Shrine of Remembrance, St Kilda Road and Swanston Street are significant for their emphasis on St Kilda Rd as a processional route between the Shrine and the city. There are also important visual associations with the Queen Victoria Garden and Domain parklands to the east. [Criterion E]