Freelance writer, photographer and science communicator. Always looking for new experiences and discoveries. Find out more at www.lagom.com.au
Published April 12th 2016
Cool things are happening in Midland
Things have changed in Midland. Key regeneration projects by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (formerly the Midland Redevelopment Authority) have paved the way to realise the vision of "proud history, exciting future". Somewhere along the way, Midland got cool.
1. Regeneration & History Midland's Railway Workshops were iconic, yet decaying, monuments of a time gone by. They have now been brought back to life with spectacular effect. One major building is now a fully functioning medical complex and GP Super Clinic and there is more to come.
The precinct is well worth a wander for the buildings alone, they certainly don't make them like that anymore! There's the Worker's Wall outside with the names of former Midland Railway Workshops workers etched into bricks as well as the Peace Memorial, which commemorates railway workers from the workshops who died in WWI. Nearby is Coal Dam Park which has been reinvigorated into open space with a walkway.
The Woodbridge development marked a new era in housing for Midland, representing more diversity (at the upper end of the market). But there was more to come, with medium density projects such as the townhouses near MJAC offering inner-city living.
As well as the year-round Midland Junction Arts Centre (MJAC) other offerings include its very own Fringeworld location, Midlandia. In 2016 Midland also hosted a Tropfest screening and if that wasn't enough, Midland is also home to the HyperFest music festival.
5. Food and Drink As well as the usual chain food suspects, Midland now boasts some interesting new establishments. When it opened in late 2009 The Principal represented a new standard in bar and dining for Midland. Again, Midland's history has been embraced, with The Principal taking up residence in the old headmaster's quarters, which date back to 1901.
It may seem like it's everywhere, but nevertheless Dome did mark the arrival of better days in Midland for caffeine lovers. Midland also scores one of the largest and more impressive Dome buildings. With the opening last year of The Crooked Spire you get the feeling Midland is on the up for café culture and coffee.
If you've embraced your own reusable water bottle Midland is also onto that, coming on board with water refill stations.
Can it keep its cool?
With a large shopping centre dominating the central city area, Midland will need to retain its interesting mix of smaller shops and focus on interesting public open spaces to avoid the perils of the concrete jungle.
Midland's run isn't over yet though. In May 2015 the WA Premier announced the Curtin University medical school will open in Midland in 2019. The City of Swan is also looking into more mixed use high density living through the Midland Oval Precinct Redevelopment.