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Canberra Tracks: see how far we’ve travelled
Canberra: A Garden City
ACT Government coat of arms
A demonstration of the ‘garden city’ principles
The area defined by the Griffith heritage precinct is one of a number of the early garden city precincts throughout Canberra. Location, block size and architectural design indicate the area’s character from its earliest days.
Developed to meet the urgent need to provide housing for public servants moving from Melbourne, the architectural designs reflect Georgian Revival, Mediterranean and Mission styles from 1925-1938.
The majority of homes in the precinct were constructed by the Government before 1940.
The area demonstrates key features of the garden city ideal, including parks and reserves, street plantings, nature strips, and an absence of front fences.
As you wander through the streets of the Griffith heritage precinct today, observe the canopy of trees (along Grant Crescent in particular), the relationship between buildings, plantings and nature strips in internal linking streets, the curved road pattern, uniform front setbacks, the highly-ordered siting and consistency of housing, paired driveways, and the siting of garages out of view from the street.
You’ll also notice that overhead wires are generally located to the rear of houses, to further enhance the visual amenity of the area.
Some of the first duplexes and triplexes to be approved in Canberra were constructed during the depression to provide affordable housing, and are located here in Griffith. Many are now converted to offices in Murray Crescent and Bougainville Street.
As you wander through the precinct, notice the way that every street disappears over a hill or around a corner and out of view, leaving one to wonder just where the road goes.