New historical timeline will leave Parkville residents “gobsmacked” 

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Parkville is home to Melbourne’s leading education and healthcare precinct and will soon boast the Metro Tunnel’s state-of-the-art Parkville Station, due to open in 2025. 

But a new historical display along the Metro Tunnel site fence on Barry St offers a glimpse into the suburb’s 150-year colonial history, which is far more diverse than most long-time residents would know. 

The installation, Triangular Dimensions, is a collaboration between the Metro Tunnel Creative Program and the Parkville Association, curated by Christine Eid of Tow Projects. 

It celebrates the past, present, and future of Parkville, including the suburb’s First Nations heritage, the establishment of its residential housing, its military history, biomedical discoveries, and the development of the new Parkville Station. 

For those interested in true crime, the timeline touches on the Brownout Strangler – but you’ll have to head down to Barry St if you want to learn more about this infamous Parkville identity. 

“I think residents are going to be gobsmacked at the detail,” Parkville Association president Rob Moore said. “They’re going to learn things they had no idea about.”

The detailed installation, which stretches for about 140 metres, begins in 1853 when the University of Melbourne was founded in what was then known as either Hotham (North Melbourne), Carlton or Royal Park. 

According to the display, the name Parkville was adopted in the mid-1870s, when it first appeared for the Parkville Cricket Club at Royal Park in 1875.

While Parkville is synonymous with education, it also played a significant role during the Second World War when Royal Park was used as a temporary military camp for American troops. 

Parkville is not usually considered an artist’s suburb, but according to the display it was a haven for several artists’ studios throughout the 20th century. 

“When Sidney Nolan painted his first of the Kelly Series, he was in Parkville living in a property on Gatehouse St,” said Mr Moore. 

Mr Moore said it was important for residents to understand Parkville’s important role in Melbourne’s history. 

“It’s one of those suburbs, funnily enough, that in spite of the hospitals and the university, a lot of people don’t know Parkville,” he said, adding that having the new station named Parkville emphasised the significance of the suburb. 

Construction of Parkville Station is powering ahead with all lifts and escalators now installed. Crews have also finished glazing the station’s signature glass entrance canopy. 

Train testing is now underway inside the Metro Tunnel, with trains reaching full speed just weeks after the first test trains entered the twin tunnels in July. •

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