Things to see in Pipemakers Park...
A Park for the People
how Pipemakers Park came to be...
This website by Francis Taylor, a Year 10 student from Niddrie College, was produced in 2005 during a two-week work placement. Francis, who would like to be a script writer, takes us on a special tour of Pipemakers Park. After Francis explores life from the 'Park's perspective' he develops a script, 'Nature's Voice', in which we get to know the philosophical thoughts of one of its trees.
The site, now known as Pipemakers Park, is located off Van Ness Avenue, Maribyrnong, (Melways Reference Map 28 B10). The park comprises approximately eight hectares, bounded on the west by Thompson Reserve, on the north by Van Ness Avenue, on the east by the Maribyrnong River and on the south by the former Commonwealth Defence Department land, now the ADI Footscray Development Site.
The site is now owned and managed by Parks Victoria. Pipemakers Park is in the City of Maribyrnong and the suburb of Maribyrnong (formerly part of the City of Sunshine). Thompson Reserve is a council-owned park adjacent to Pipemakers Park, and along with other Council and Commonwealth-owned land adjoining the Parks Victoria land on the south side of the park, is managed in co-operation with Parks Victoria.
Melbourne's Living Museum of the West occupies the historic bluestone buildings for its office, resource centre and exhibition space. These buildings are leased from Parks Victoria.
The site is located on the flood plain and escarpment edge of the Maribyrnong River Valley, with some buildings coming within a few metres of the river bank. Several of the buildings have floor levels below the one in a hundred flood levels. Entrance to the site is from Van Ness Avenue, at the junction with Gordon Street and Warrs Road. This is also one of the entrances to Highpoint City Shopping centre, which is built in the former bluestone quarries at the top of the escarpment to the west of the park.
This site was the location of several significant historical industrial enterprises including an early boiling down works, railway engineering foundry, one of Australia's earliest and largest meat canneries, the first meat freezing works in Australia, and one of the first reinforced concrete pipe works in Australia. Evidence of each of these stages can be found in documentary records, surviving structures and archaeological evidence.
For more information about the history of Pipemakers Park go to Park History
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