Colour photograph looking up at the front and entry stairs of a two Storey red brick block of flats, surrounded by green garden.
Design drawings for proposed flats at 21 Blessington Street, St Kilda, from 1955, beige paper and dark brown ink drawing of four elevations and a section, design by Michael R E Feldhagen.
Colour photograph looking up at a brick and cream painted deco style facade with a deep-set shady balcony and curved corners, garden growing against the building.
Looking up at a three storey, red brick and painted concrete facade of a block of midcentury flats.

The Conquering Flat

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After World War I, Melbourne faced a housing shortage, and flats were seen as a solution to the problem. By the mid-1930s almost as many flats as houses were being built across the city and many of these were in St Kilda. By 1947, St Kilda contained 5,500 flats, a quarter of all flats in Melbourne and today, the area surrounding the St Kilda Botanical Gardens is a microcosm of flat development from the early 1900s to the 1960s.

What's On

Join David Helms, Principal Heritage Advisor at the City of Port Phillip, on an informative walking tour of early- to mid-20th century flats in the area around the St Kilda Botanical Gardens, including Blessington, Tennyson, Dickens and Herbert streets.

This tour will examine why St Kilda and Elwood became such popular locations for flats, and how flats changed the architectural and social character of these places to become an integral part of the distinctive identity of the area today.

Images: (1) The Conquering Flat, first example. Photo: courtesy of David Helms. (2) 21 Blessington Street, 1955. Photo: City of Port Phillip archive. (3) The Conquering Flat, second example. Photo: courtesy of David Helms. (4) The Conquering Flat, third example. Photo: courtesy of David Helms.

Important Details

Time & Date

Sunday 28 July
Tour runs 1pm
Running for 90 minutes in a group of 30

Bookings required—$7 booking fee applies
First release tickets: 12pm Wednesday 3 July
Second release tickets: 12pm Saturday 6 July

Meet just inside the gate of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens on Blessington St, beside the EcoCentre and near the corner of Herbert Street.

Wear comfortable clothing, and dress for forecast weather. The tour proceeds rain or shine.

This tour will conclude at 26-28 Blessington St, St Kilda VIC 3182.



Partially wheelchair accessible, Accessible parking nearby

Tour will follow the footpaths around St Kilda Botanical Gardens.


St Kilda Botanical Gardens, Blessington St, St Kilda VIC 3182

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