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5 Ways Midland Got Cool

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by Rhiannon Bristow-Stagg (subscribe)
Freelance writer and photographer with an interest in science communication. Always looking for new experiences and discoveries!
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.
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The Railway Workshops of old. Pic: MRA website

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Now a medical centre with its essence retained

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.
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Worker's Wall Midland Railway Workshops

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Midland Railway Workshops

2. Housing Diversity
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.
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Inner city living

There are apartments going up in the Workshops precinct as well, which will be a short stroll to the train station.
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More apartments to come in Midland...

3. Street Art
Shopping centres aren't usually places you associate with street art. But in a thoroughly modern approach Midland Gate has embraced some colour on their roof top carpark walls.
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Midland Gate gets a splash of colour

Street sculptures also feature throughout the Workshops area, particularly near the train station. They bring a feeling of movement and life to the streets.

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Street art in Midland

4. Culture
Ten years ago you wouldn't have picked Midland as a cultural destination, but it now boasts an enviable arts and culture calendar.
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Midland Junction Arts Centre

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.
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Aptly named The Principal Bar & Restaurant

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.
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Water refills

And more...
Hospitals aren't necessarily cool, but Midland also boasts a brand new (and rather impressive) one, which has injected more people into the area while providing essential services.
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Outside the new hospital Pic: Lagom Agency

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.

Bring it on!
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Why? Cool things are happening
Where: Midland, Western Australia
Your Comment
Very interesting. Where are the people?
by gordo (score: 0|2) 1783 days ago
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