Category: Landscapes & Buildings

The Mont Park site was productive farm land with livestock, orchards and market gardens. Bundoora Park had been a famous horse stud and 1900s photographs depict both areas as cleared land with a smattering of River Red Gums, in contrast to the current shops, housing estates, Strathallan Golf Course and forested Gresswell Reserve with its historic water tank. Kangaroos can be found in the area still as can remnants of structures utilised over the past 100 years.

A few heritage buildings remain, conserved and utilised by La Trobe University, examples of the robust and attractive Mont Park Hospital and Kingsbury Training Centre structures of the 1910s and 1920s. All of the Gresswell Sanatorium and Macleod Repatriation facilities have been demolished and only three of the Plenty Hospital wards remain, re-birthed as apartments. Some of the red-brick Tudor Revival style Larundel Hospital buildings, near the Polaris shops, are being renewed as housing units.

The leading Victorian landscape gardener, Hugh Linaker, lived in a cottage built in 1911. it is being restored near the shopping centre car park. Linaker was responsible for laying out the exquisite gardens of native and exotic plants at Mont Park. Some elms, oaks, palm trees, cypresses have been thoughtfully preserved.

An important stand of Sugar Gums forms an Avenue of Honour down Cherry Street to the Macleod station. World War One veterans nurtured these trees from seedlings under Linaker’s guidance.

A railway line branched from Macleod station through scrubland to service Mont Park until the 1960s.

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