In 2017 construction of the underground Parkville Station in Grattan Street obliged the University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor to leave the house in which his family and those of his predecessors had lived for the previous 80 years. The grounds were devoid of residents for the first time in 160 years.
Like the Gatekeeper’s Lodge at the Main Entrance and the Staff Club backing on to Tin Alley, the house remains but, like them and a score of others since demolished, nobody lives there.
During its first hundred years the University of Melbourne grounds housed professors, gardeners, porters, messengers, dissecting room attendants and laboratory technicians, all with families, many of whom spent decades on campus. Not Just Profs and Toffs tells the story of some of those families, looking at their physical accommodation, social interactions and to what extent living in what was at time a gated community affected them.