Perhaps by good fortune, the surge of economic growth from 1850 to 1890 delivered to Kensington a couple of great buildings and then, as quickly as it grew, the town retired into a frozen piece of near lasting loveliness.
With the expansion of industry west of Melbourne in the late 1800s – the mills, railways, the abattoir and saleyards in neighbouring Newmarket – all promised Kensington a piece of the great and growing commerce.
The formidable Bank of Australasia and monumental Town Hall now sit like architectural dinosaurs – a time capsule from 1891. The expanse of terraces too suggest a great demand for land and an expected population boom.
But it never came. This small pocket of Melbourne still had a mere 9700 residents in 2011 (Census).
Although the census notes an appalling lack of students – there are no doubt plenty of them sleeping on other people’s sofas or being nannies. The median age is 32 and the town has the highest number of young families in central Melbourne. The place is so excessively relaxed and hip it is untrue. In fact the population is so young it’s hard to find a scrap of history on the web about this part of Melbourne – but perhaps the way the Kensingtonians like it – a good secret, well kept.
A short railway tour from Melbourne should really be conducted to pick up these cafe strips off the stations of Kensington, then on to Newmarket and Beyond.
For a little more background on the mother ship of the former Bank of Australasia in Melbourne you can read here http://www.walkingmelbourne.com/building253_former-bank-of-australasia.html