Why is Smith Street important? (Nerd Nite Melbourne, 7 PM, October 14)

If you are free on the night of October 14, come to Mr Wows Emporium, 79B Smith Street, Fitzroy (upstairs), to Nerd Night Melbourne. This is a night were specialists (nerds) talk about all sorts of subjects from environmental politics, moon-landing crafts, and pharmaceutical research. And on the night of October the 14th, I will be talking about the history of Smith Street, with two other speakers (on different subjects).

Why is Smith Street important? A history of one of Melbourne’s most diverse streets

Smith Street is one of Melbourne’s oldest, most eccentric, and most exciting thoroughfares, dating back to the first suburban land subdivision in Melbourne in 1838. It forms the eastern border of Fitzroy, Melbourne’s first suburb, and the western edge of Collingwood. It was initially a winding dirt track that went to Heidelberg, the only road out of the City to the North. In Victorian times, it was one of the busiest and most essential shopping centres in the Australian colonies until it declined in the 1970s. From the labyrinthine Foy and Gibsons, one of the world’s most extensive and most eclectic department stores, to secret tunnels for women shoppers, to the first Coles store in Australia, to a long history of struggle between rich and poor, Smith Street is a significant route for understanding urban Australian experience.




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