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St Kilda is an inner suburb of the metropolitan area of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 6 km south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Port Phillip. At the 2016 Census, St Kilda had a population of 20,230.
St Kilda was named by Charles La Trobe, then superintendent of the Port Phillip District, after a schooner, Lady of St Kilda, which moored at the main beach for much of 1841, and the ship's master and early settler Lieutenant James Ross Lawrence.During the Victorian era, St Kilda became a favoured suburb of Melbourne's elite, and many palatial mansions and grand terraces were constructed along its hills and waterfront. After the turn of the century, the St Kilda foreshore became Melbourne's favoured playground, with electric tram lines linking the suburbs to the seaside amusement rides, ballrooms, cinemas and cafes, and crowds flocked to St Kilda Beach. Many of the mansions and grand terraces became guest houses, and gardens were filled in with apartment buildings, making St Kilda the most densely populated suburb in Melbourne. Postwar St Kilda became Melbourne's red-light district, and the guest houses became low-cost rooming houses. Since the late 1960s, St Kilda become known for its culture of bohemianism, and as home to many prominent artists, musicians and subcultures, including punk and LGBT. While some of these groups still maintain a presence in St Kilda, since the 2000s the district has experienced rapid gentrification pushing many lower socio-economic groups out to other areas, with the suburb again being sought after by the wealthy.
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