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About this City Journal

This isn't a CJ of any real life Lafayette. It's uni-break and I've finally found my old copy of SC4... Here's a medium sized town and its surrounds, with loads of art deco buildings and...

Entries in this City Journal

kylaar

Off to the country......

North County

This is going to be a relatively short update. The first image is the most interesting, a 800 x 3500 pixel overview of the entire town. North County was never meant to be anything more than a farming district with no plans for any township. A small collection of houses opened after a service station and gas storage facility were built along the highway mainly for trucks and other large vehicles heading out of Lafayette. Soon, the town developed around the area now known as North County.

 

For some reason SC4 has made the town out to be obscenely wealthy, all R$$ and R$$$, whereas I'd think it would be more R$, but no... I've wanted to visit a small town for some time, I don't often get out of Sydney to the surrounding towns, which there are hundreds of in NSW alone. I've been told mopst are quite depressing, but I want to see the strip shops and detached houses.

Looking at the first picture, from the top:

  1. Wongan Town Centre - a seperated shopping strip still in North County, fallen on hard luck in the last year or so. The houses this end of town do seem to be R$, and most are spread along the highway as opposed to lots behind it like in the centre of town.
  2. There are still a great deal of farms in North County. The main income earners are farming, followed by services and tourism bought in by commuters using the highway.
  3. North County Town Centre is the collection of buildings including the largest in the area, the North County Community Bank Building. There is also a movie cinema (The Pit), shops, hotels and some other commercial service buildings. The school is also in this area.
  4. The very south of town is a street of R$$, mainly as holiday homes for people living in Lafayette. They are isolated up in the hills an

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Caption: A collection of older mixed-businesses and various small town shops make up the Wongan Strip. A lot of the second floors and above are abandoned or empty, and whilst the towns wealth has spread north slowly, there are still a great deal of smaller cabins or single-floor dwellings in this part of town. A major problem is the lack of public transport of any kind in small towns because there isn't the economy of scale needed in running buses or other transport services. Also, there are very few council services because the town is not large enough to sustain a state run medical practice or police services other than the highway patrol.

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Caption: The real town centre, it's a casual affair with buildings that have been there for a while and will probably never be demolished. The population has stagnated even though it has become more wealthy, with some R$$$ moving into the area, particularly the area south of town.

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Caption: The town started of with a bunch of streets like this one. This is one of the older streets, completely covered in R$$ housing and surrounded by farms and open space, this is the perfect home for people wanting to escape Lafayette City or looking for a holiday home.

Comments Appreciated.

Next week, I attempt an airport...

kylaar

In The Neighborhood

 Thanks for the comments from the last update good people. Give me any suggestions, love to hear them.

Missendon Park

So before I start with the screenshots, I've got a map of the suburbs in and around Lafayette. Development started in Inner Lafayette before spreading to City South shortly after. The next areas developed were Bradfield and Mackeller, both as seperate settlements before merging. Mackeller was seperated for a long time before people moving out of the inner city settled in Missendon Park. The area is named as such for the large park, the first major park in the area.

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Missendon Park is surrounded by the commercial mid-town areas of Bradfield in the west, the expensive residential areas of City South and Mackeller on either side, and connected to the industrial areas in the north west by the only major tunnel in Lafayette, which you can see in the first picture below. The residents are now mainly students of the local Lafayette University (the big, bright orange building) or R$$ sims. Originally a R$ suburb, the buildings still retain the older look without major new construction taking place. There is a village atmosphere in most parts, and most residents work in the area or in Bradfield due to poor public transport. The only other major landmark in the area is the Lady Alexandria Hospital on the border between Missendon Park and Bradfield.

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Caption: Waterloo Avenue is the dividing line between the bungalow style houses of City South and the loft/brownstones of Missendon Park. Several different styles show how the area has undergone continuous revisions, starting from the corner faux-tudor loft, followed by the brownstones and larger brown apartment blocks. This was followed by smaller brick row-houses, only one example of which is obvious in this picture, to the left of the tudor loft. The major development of the area was in the mid 60's and early 70's when the hospital was built to cater for the entire inner city area, followed by the high-rise Lafayette University building. Throughout that time, the park has remained the central area for the suburb, whilst shoppers go over to the malls of Bradfield each weekend - there is very little commercial property in the area.

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Caption: This is really the intersection between Mackeller, City South and Missendon Park. On the right you can see the factories of the industrial areas outside the inner city. Then there is the tunnel that comes from the other side of the park. The big orange building is the university. I've noticed that many cities have truly ugly public buildings built in the mid-20th century. The UTS (University of Technology Sydney) building is one example that comes to mind, along with Sydney's convention centre and Darling Harbour.

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Caption: Here is a closer up example of the rowhouses that make up much of the suburb. Now gentrified and probably worth a great deal of money, these would have originally been part of the working class suburb escaping from the high prices closer into the city. There is very little public transport in the suburb which is a major problem, but it lies in between the subway lines that go either to Mackeller or to Bradfield.

As cities grow I think people flee to the suburbs from the centre, but as the population expands  and public services like transport get more crowded, there is a definate move back into the immediate ring of suburbs just around the city, like I mentioned in the last entry. I'm unsure what happens outside of that, but many university suburbs have sprung up in Sydney after the uni is built. Examples that work somewhat like Missendon Park include the Newtown area just near Sydney University with its row houses and student friendly atmosphere. Others include Pyrmont (which was an old housing commission suburb) near UTS, and to a lesser extent, Randwick and Kensington near the University of New South Wales (but they also have other things in the mix like proximity to beaches, being closer to more prosperous Eastern Suburbs suburbs like Waverley and Bondi.

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Caption: Further out from the park is Outer Missendon Park. There are a few older homes here like those larger brick apartments clearly from the 1930's and 1940's in between more suburban homes. Most homes in Lafayette are R$$, with a large middle class and relatively few others. Outer suburbs suffer from even poorer transport, and being further out, this means that they are even more strained. Governments usually have a band-aid approach of putting in extra buses or routes, but never addressing the real problem with some heavy rail or highways.

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Caption: The second largest school in Lafayette is located in Outer Missendon, the Lafayette Kirk Anglican School, is a large 70's building that sometimes doubles as a church (but there is another church on the far side of the soccer field). It's stuck in between the row houses of inner Missendon, the R$$ houses of the suburbs and the more upmarket dwellings of Mackeller.

STAY TUNED!

Next update, we leave for the country and visit North County, a small agricultural town close to Lafayette...

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Comments Welcome

kylaar

Heartattack and Vine

First real update......

Inner Lafayette

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Caption: The crossing of Regent Street and Hamilton Avenue is the centre of the central business district in Lafayette. There are a few large corporations including some banking groups and financial firms who have their headquarters in these buildings. 92 Regent (the white and black building) is the highest in Lafayette, followed closely by the State Building, which was built at roughly the same time as the Regal Theatre. Hamilton Avenue was surrounded by terraces and W2W buildings until this time when it went development and was widened. Those owners moved to City South and Bradfield, and the resulting land became inhabited by squatters, state employees and people returning from the war.

So I've noticed a few things from wandering about Sydney almost obsessively. Most are quite obvious observations, but city's don't just appear suburbs and all (unless its LA...). Sydney has the CBD, surrounded almost on all sides by working class suburbs that have, over the last ten years, slowly gentrified to become some of the most expensive in the city. If you're interested, look up Surry Hills, Balmain, Glebe, Kings Cross, Paddington, Darlinghurst, Pyrmont.

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Caption: Many older buildings line the left of Hamilton Avenue, and these have resisted the bulldozers successfully over the years. The other side, however, hasn't been so successful. Being (marginally) closer to the centre of town, the older terraces made way for the red-brick towers of the 40's, 50's and 60's, before the concrete towers that bring high-density, low-cost living made their way there. Being so close to town, there has been some development recently also, such as the big tower that can be seen in the centre of the picture. A $$ residence, it sits squarely between corporate Lafayette and the inner rent-controlled housing.

The hall-marks of most of these suburbs are the old terrace houses and narrow streets. There seems to be in SC an urge to demolish those older inner areas of the city when planning and put in a shiny sunken highway and high-rise. Often these areas are a mix of the older residents who still own a large amount of the property and the new residents who have bought up at sometimes extreme prices because of the inner city location. Mix this with some smaller elements where the buildings have indeed been torn down and replaced by something new and shiny because a developer can see there will be potential there (and often these buildings fail abysmally - like the concrete jungle of Sydney CBD south near central which is an interesting place but filled with very very cheap apartments because someone decided to build up about five blocks).

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Caption: There are some great BATs by Jasoncw like the yellow and blue department stall and several others in this shot. Getting closer towards the park, the apartments become slightly nicer, but there are still a lot of older apartments from the original popualtion growth in Lafayette that meant a lot of people moved into the city quickly before the suburbs were zoned out. The first university in the city (originally a technical college) is the black building on the right, and the subway tucked behind the hideous brown brutalist thing is the most congested in the city.
 
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Caption: Same picture but closer up. I had to mark those two buildings historical so SC didn't raze over them with a bunch of glass monstrosities. There are far more smaller stores here than large malls etc. God I need to find better bus stops...

 

There are other inner city areas that have resisted development at all, often disadvantaged groups are deeply intrenched in these areas, such as Redfern (extremely close to the city, but still only now gentrifying). The point is you will get a ridiculously expensive gourmet deli (Fratelli Fresh with its line of Ferrari's) one block away from an absolute slum (and I don't mean that offensively, but residents who could spend a months salary buying one jar of food from Fratelli's). You'll get a street of nightclubs and bars and tourist attractions and tucked in the back streets are the remnants of the older charaver of the area (Kings Cross - loads of bars and nightclubs, where half of Sydney goes in the evenings, and around the back, the only legel injecting room in Australia). Anyway, you get the point.

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Caption: Just a quick comparison of before and after the widening of Hamilton Avenue. There has always been an extreme problem with traffic in Inner Lafayette. The roads that were originally streets have never been able to cope with the traffic problem and its difficult to simply widen the road where homes exist. A bunch of streets were turned into one-way roads to make traffic flow easy under the new traffic management plan, which seemed to ease things. The extra subway stations helped ease congestion from the central station near the corner of Hamilton and Regent.

Some More Pictures

 

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Some things I'm thinking Lafayette misses so far:

  • Railway tracks and yards which are often a hall-mark of the inner city
  • Stadium, sports grounds and the like
STAY TUNED!

Next update, we leave Inner Lafayette for Missendon Park, home of the Lafayette College and more...

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Comments Welcome!

kylaar

Introduction

 Welcome to Lafayette

Pop: 83 000

Towns: Lafayette City, Lafayette Point, Cornell, East Bay

Lafayette is a medium-sized town situated inland at the foot of a large mountain. It was originally settled in late 19th century, and thus has a great wealth of early and mid 20th century architectural styles throughout its city centre. The main focus of this CJ is urban planning and building up histories of various suburbs and areas within the city.

I should first warn that I am using a Mac and SC will (probably) explode/implode/destroy itself sometime though this CJ.

Also, a great big thankyou to nofunk and Jasoncw for their amazing submissions to the ST Exchange.

If anyone has any suggestions for BATs or MODs that may fit in with the general style of Lafayette, please leave a comment.

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Stay Tuned

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