Your Street History: Prospect Street, Erskineville

November 5th, 2018 - by Brad Gillespie

Prospect Street is the ideal base to savour the vibrant offerings of Erskineville, while providing a brief hideaway from the hustle and bustle.

Residents love living here because it embodies the relaxed inner-city lifestyle. It’s a quick walk to local cafes, wine bars, shops and restaurants. There’s enough public transport to sell the car, and the combination of leafy streets, converted warehouses and Victorian terrace housing give the area a lively, urban feel.

Prospect Street is relatively short, running from Erskineville Road down to Victoria Street, and is one of the area’s best addresses.

History

Erskineville got its name from Reverend George Erskine, who used to reside in Erskine Villa on 63 Erskineville Road, right near the corner of Prospect Street. Erskine died in 1834 – just a few years after the villa was constructed. The Villa changed owners and in 1853 Publican William Toogood bequeathed the building to the Anglican Church upon his death.

From the late 19th Century the Villa served as a rectory to the Holy Trinity in Erskineville. In 1961, it was demolished and a single-storey brick veneer building was erected in its place.

Today, Erskine Villa is resurrected in the form of a trendy restaurant bearing its namesake near its former location.

The Rail

Just a few hundred metres from Prospect Street lies Erskineville Station. This was opened in 1884 north of the Swanson Rd overbridge to accommodate the residents of the expanding working-class suburb. In 1911, the station was expanded and relocated to its present site. Platforms 2-3 were completed in 1911 and Platforms 1-4 in 1912.

Food

Kuki Tanuki
61 Erskineville Road
Kuki Tanuki marks the entrance to Prospect Street. This sake bar is small, hip and industrial, with an innovative brunch menu in the am and live music at night. Revelers love the sushi, which is fish-market fresh.

Bakerman Café
2/65 Erskineville Road
On the other side of Prospect Street, this café has all the breakfast staples and is convenient for a caffeine hit before work.

Notable Buildings

Erskineville’s former life as an industrial hub is reflected in the buildings along Prospect Street.

Metro
4-10 Prospect Street
This used to be the Metro shirt company but was converted into 12 loft-style private apartments. The interiors are seasoned with warehouse features like exposed beams, hardwood floors and high ceilings. The tightly-held units are popular due to their sleek design and modern amenities and convenient location.

Victorian Terraces
78-92 Prospect Street
These two-storey Victorian Terraces epitomise Sydney architecture from the late 19th Century. They were built to house the workers in the area, most of whom were market gardeners, brick makers and tanners. These homes are generally in good condition and in many cases have retained their original detailing, including cornices, joinery and fireplaces.

Joseph Sargeant Community Centre
60 Prospect Street
This is a venue for kids’ birthday parties, community meetings and can be hired for events. It has a soft-fall playground, half-court for tennis and basketball and a kitchen.

Former Warehouse
18-20 Victoria Street
This marks the corner of Prospect Street and Victoria Street. The warehouse was constructed as the Cleveland Shoe Factory in 1923 and was taken over by Selby Shoes from around 1950. The shoe factory existed until the 1980s and the building has continued to dominate the streetscape today. It has a grid-like façade, large windows, minimal ornaments and other architectural elements associated with the inter-war Chicagoesque style. Today the space is used for offices and studios.

Transport

Train
Prospect Street is a short walk from Erskineville Station, and a slightly longer walk to Macdonaldtown Station and Newtown Station

Bus
There is a 355 bus at the corner of Prospect Street and Erskineville Rd, which covers the Marrickville to Bondi Junction route.

Looking to buy or invest in Erskineville?

Now is the perfect time to buy and experience potential long-term growth. Get in touch with me today to make it happen.

Photo credits: http://studiojla.com.au/project/kuki-tanuki-erskineville-3/