Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Clifton Ave, Clifton Hill

This small park space in Clifton Ave, Clifton Hill is one of those halfway internal reserve spaces which only qualify on certain measures, and don’t qualify at all on others. The space is not enclosed, in fact, it has road access on all sides. The facing streetscape includes: vehicle access doors on the south side, a row of flats on the north side, a newly-built home on the east.

Yet it seems to follow much of the classic IR principles in its very local (‘village green’) use, its relatively hidden/out of the way status and its benches for passive recreation. As is very clear from the Google map, it is also very close to a much larger park space (in fact, a series of linear parks for active and passive recreation).

One tiny detail may illustrate the value of this space to its users. While photographing it I realised I was being observed by a woman in one of the flats, looking I think out of her kitchen window. Eyes on the park were watching. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crete Reserve, Rosebery NSW

This small semicircular park, with a road leading to it at one end and a pedestrian pathway at the other, is I believe a part of Rosebery dating back to the original John Sulman design. It is not, in truth,    a fully enclosed reserve by dint of Rosebery Avenue entering it from the north. However, all the other elements are typical of IRs from the first quarter of the 20th century, particularly the pedestrian path at the south end. 

Visiting this reserve on 28 July 2014, my friend Annabel and I encountered a local whose property adjoins the reserve. He was, in fact, a Cretan by birth but did not, he said, represent a large Cretan community in the area. The reserve was, like so many of its ilk, described to us as being a place where 'boyfriend and girlfriend' would meet at night, and where marijuana was smoked, alongside other activities generally considered antisocial. This gentleman nevertheless greatly appreciated the park and particularly its trees. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

D R Atkinson Reserve, Reservoir, Victoria

A cafe in Strathmore uses pages from old Gregory's street directories to house its menus; by chance I noted this internal reserve in my menu earlier in the week. This one isn't easily dated, of course, but I looked at my 1979 Gregory's and I find that the reserve is there, in the same form, labelled not 'park' but rather 'D. R. Atkinson Res.' This space had always passed me by as an internal reserve because of the form it now takes; the west side is open to the road. This might mean council (City of Preston) bought up and demolished houses on the west side - more likely, it bought up vacant land before demolitions became 'necessary'. I believe this area, designated Keon Park, was part of an early 1920s Saxil Tuxen estate plan. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Two unrealised suburbs from Ernst May

A 1921 plan by the German Architect/planner for a new suburb in a competition for plans to expand Breslau aka Wroclaw; 'awarded a special prize for its remarkable qualities in terms of urban planning' although 'the jury found that Breslau with its catchment area was too small to implement this project.' I count at least five internal reserves in this design, and some which may or may not be. Quiring, Voigt, Schmal, Herrel (eds) Ernst May 1886-1970 Munich, Prestel 2011 p. 255

Another plan from the same year, also apparently unrealised, for miners in Rothenbach, also in Poland.Quiring, Voigt, Schmal, Herrel (eds) Ernst May 1886-1970 Munich, Prestel 2011 p. 256

Friday, February 7, 2014

Unnamed reserve between Copeland and Witako Sts and Hall Crescent, Epuni, New Zealand

The persistence of this stubborn small reserve which continues to exist against all odds is something to admire. It is seemingly no more than a small oblong patch of (mown) grass. All surrounding houses have tiny backyards; some have chosen to make all or a part of their fencing wire, to give a sense of space, and to reveal to the world (or at least that minor fraction of it which cares to look) the tininess of their yards.
 Copeland St entryway
 Looking south-east
 Looking north-west
 Looking north-west
 External wall of outbuilding, on the north-east corner.
 Looking north-west
 Low fence and gate (with beware of the dog sign)
 Way through to Hall Crescent
North-western fence with inexplicable hole revealing piece of pipe, and double door gate (large enough to permit vehicle access, but a vehicle could not come into the reserve itself from the street entryways).
 Looking southeast
 One of the tiny backyards - with wire fence
 A backyard of a Copeland Street house, as seen from access way
This is the reserve across the road, which looks on the google map to be another internal reserve and probably was one at some stage. Now a large part of it is a driveway to two facilities:

 This very attractive brick house retains its gate entry into the space.

View of entry way across Copeland into the smaller reserve above.
All viewable on google maps here.