COMO PARK HISTORY
The grounds of Como House originally extended all the way down to the Yarra river and the familiar vista which now comprises the sports oval and the sweep of Alexandra Avenue was only formed in the early 1930’s after Sidney Myer provided finance for the development as a project for unemployed workers during the depression.
The land which eventually became Como Park was purchased from the Armytage family (for the sum of 15,500 pounds) who were the original owners of the Como estate. The park was first dubbed Australia Park.
Transforming this land into public grounds required the Yarra embankments to be raised as the area was very prone to flooding, indeed the area which Como Oval now occupies used to be a swamp many years ago.
| ||This photograph shows Como Park under flood in October, 1923. Note the barbed wire fencing and gate.|
|The following is a photograph taken prior to the extensive works. Note that the familiar rise of the hill up to Como House is instantly recognizable.|
|This 1930 picture shows the work being carried out to extend Alexandra Avenue - the road was extended along the previously raised embankment. |
|From a different angle, looking up the hill to Como House.|
|The work to grade Como oval was very labour intensive but also provided much needed work and pay for the Melburnians of the depression.|
|The official opening of the park in October,1934 where a crowd of approximately 7,000 enjoyed the new park. Families picnicked and children played, a familiar site still today.|
|Sidney Myer penned in an open letter, “I am not a politician; I do not seek publicity, nor have I any ulterior motive whatsoever except my love for Australia and the Australian people”. He provided the funding for many great works during the depression, including Como Park. When he died suddenly in 1934 his funeral procession was attended by over 100,000 respectful citizens. Another function at Como occurred to mark the death and contribution of Sidney Myer in November, 1934.|
For more information on the recent upgrades to the Como Pavilion, CLICK HERE.