Prahran (IPA: ), also known colloquially as Pran, is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 5 km south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Stonnington local government area.
- Area:1.861 km2
- Elevation:24 m
- Local Government Area:Stonnington City Council
Prahran (IPA: ), also known colloquially as Pran, is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 5 km south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Stonnington local government area. At the 2016 Census Prahran had a population of 12,982.Prahran is a part of Greater Melbourne, with many shops, restaurants and cafes.
The shopping street Chapel Street is a mix of upscale fashion boutiques and cafes. Greville Street, once the centre of the Melbourne's hippie community, has many cafés, bars, restaurants, bookstores, clothing shops and music shops.
Prahran takes its name fromPur-ra-ran, a Boonwurrung word which was thought to mean "land partially surrounded by water". The word has more recently been identified as a transcription of "Birrarung", the name for the Yarra River, or a specific point of it.
In 1837 George Langhorne named the area Pur-ra-ran, which was thought to be a compound of two Aboriginal words, meaning "land partially surrounded by water". The word has more recently been identified as a transcription of "Birrarung", the name for the Yarra River or a specific point of it. When Langhorne informed the Surveyor-General Robert Hoddle of the name, it was written as "Prahran".Prahran Post Office opened on 1 April 1853.Describing Prahran, as it was in the mid 1850s, F.R. Chapman remembered:
In the very early times Chapel-street had many vacant spaces. On the west side, about the middle, a man could be seen ploughing his farm... and on the same side was a small brick church, or more probably a school-room used as a church, which was known as Mr Gregory's.
Between the 1890s and 1930s Prahran built up a huge shopping centre, which by the 1920s had rivalled the Melbourne Central Business District. Large emporiums (department stores) sprang up along Chapel Street. Prahran also became a major entertainment area. The Lyric theatre (also known as the fleahouse), built on the corner of Victoria Street in 1911, burnt down in the 1940s. The Royal was the second old theatre built. The Empress (also known as the flea palace), another popular theatre on Chapel Street, was destroyed by fire in 1971. The site was operated by the cut-price clothes and homewares chain Waltons for the next decade and was later developed into the Chapel Street Bazaar.
In the 1960s, in an effort to boost the slowly growing local population and inject new life into the suburb, the Victorian Government opened the Prahran Housing Commission estate, just off Chapel Street, together with a larger estate, located just north in South Yarra. Further complementing the high rise developments was a low density development between Bangs and Bendigo Streets.
In the 1970s, the suburb began to gentrify, with much of the remaining old housing stock being renovated and restored. The area had a substantial Greek population and many took advantage of the rise in property values during the 1980s, paving the way for further development and a subsequent shift in demographics.
During the 1990s, the population increased markedly, with demand for inner-city living fuelling a medium-density housing boom, which continues in the area, as part of the Melbourne 2030 planning policy. It was during the 1990s that solidification of the area's gay community occurred. Many gay and gay-friendly businesses (including last of these closing around 2012.
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