100 Years Ago – The Elevated Suburb of Marrickville

The Newsletter: An Australian Paper for Australian People (Saturday 15 August, 1914, page 4) spelt out in vivid details what we already know about the Marrickville district. It is just an amazing place to live!

 Marrickville is a joy and a boon to life!

Perhaps our retail shops have changed, but for all of us that love Marrickville, we know just how amazing our varied shops are. Just try to find a park in Marrickville Road, and you will know that the place is still a place where “sunlight is never dimmed!”

The text is a little hard to read, so the article is included in full text here:

The City Lives in its Suburbs.

A complete revolution has taken place in the old City of Sydney during the last fifteen years by reason of its mercantile growth; and it may be said that Sydney now lives in its suburbs.

This change has been so immense, it may be seen the great metropolis now consists of a network of suburban cities, where residential and business life is almost wholly independent of the ordinary daily doings of the old city itself.

North, East, West and South there are now magnificent suburban areas, or real cities; and certainly all this marvellous creation has been signally helped by the elevated and roomy features of the surrounding country, with which Sydney is endowed. Mechanical science, too, has played a big part in this wonderful suburban growth, as the electric train system has hugely facilitated transit, benefiting not only the people’s business but also their health, and producing prosperity and happiness.

Conspicuous in all this magic change stands the beautiful expansive and elevated suburb of Marrickville. Nature has been bounteous in her gifts to this popular area of the metropolis of Sydney. It is really an elevated plateau, and very fortunately its expansive endowments have not been ignored, but rather strikingly improved by the representative men who have taken a hand in the business social and public affairs of Marrickville.

A genuine big public spirit has manifested itself in all the doings of Marrickville, and its consequent record is that though it is about the youngest of Sydney suburban areas, it is in the front rank easily in business activity and social and residential importance.

Certainly all this, as we have already hinted, has been hugely helped by the lovely elevated situation of Marrickville ; but still the energetic work and good judgment of its representative men and women in improving and not blurring these natural advantages must be estimated and justly recognised.

A visitor has only to alight from the tram in the main centre to feel at once that he is in a new and throbbing world of business and social life. No earthly trace of hovels or cramped and crowded streets or lanes is to be found. Everything is open and cheering, and prosperity shows itself all around.

The wide streets, where sunlight is never dimmed, impart to the shops a completely improved appearance to the general run of city shops. Everywhere the buildings are new in life and new in design. They are all brilliantly lit up by sunlight, and seldom indeed in the interior of any one of them is there a necessity for the electric light in the daytime. This itself is strikingly impressive, and means an immensity to every kind of business.

It looks here at Marrickville as if old Sydney had taken to the fields with its pure air and sun light in which to develop its future in business and social life.

Still more remarkable, however, is what the visitor sees at Marrickville when he leaves the avenues of business and finds himself in the residential areas. Here is comfort; here is pure healthful social life. If we may use the term, 500 per cent. is the improvement here to be found as compared to the residential conditions of old Sydney and its immediate door stop environs. In this respect Marrickville is truly a suburban garden city. It has thousands of handsome cottage homes with roomy well-lit surroundings, and hundreds of beautiful large residences sleeping in bowers of flowers and foliage. Hence a promenade anywhere about Marrickville is a joy and a boon to life, particularly for the juvenile element, whose condition of health marks the change from oppressive city life and its frequent undesirable immoral surroundings.

And this thing is most noticeable. The leading people have taken precious good care that nothing would be out of harmony; for whether it be the shops or the churches, the schools or the banks, the public buildings or the semi-public institutions, the brand of excellence is everywhere observable. Everything is a cut above what is generally seen elsewhere, a vigorous clear big purpose of life being manifest on every baud.

To do justice to Marrickville and her people, and to help point the way for other suburbs to follow, we propose to devote some space in these columns to details of the doings in this free and prosperous model suburban city.

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