Deer Park

Originally intended to be a playground and dwelling place for the well-to-do of Melbourne by its creator, the notoriously unlucky property developer Vladimir Czatzdo, Deer Park was intentionally named as a pun, a secret joke that only Czatzdo would know. Although it was indeed planned to feature meticulously sculpted parks with coppices and glens that recalled those where deer dwelt in England, there were to be no deer. The plan was for it to be a dear park: an expensive home for those with more money than sense. Characteristically, Czatzdo has overlooked the fact that he was a member of that group.

As it happened, the private joke was blown the very first week that land went on sale there, when an unflattering article in The Argus used the exact same joke to deride the planned dwellings, which were ludicrously over-priced. Czatzdo, enraged by this, compouned the problem by writing a scorching letter to the editor, excoriating the paper in general and the writer in particular, and naming him a theif and a spy. The writer, Aloysious Tate, was in fact both of these things, but considerably more cool-headed the Czatzdo. He kept his mouth shut for the most part, refusing all attempts to get him to speak about the issue. He would say only that he regretted the mess it had become and would discuss it no further. He was, naturally, lying through his teeth: the controversy caused by Czatzdo’s continuing stream of letters was great for sales, and the quiet dignity with which Tate dealt with the situation only endeared him more to the upper classes that he preyed upon in his more criminal hours.

Deer Park’s construction stalled as Czatzdo’s enthusiasm waned – he spent more time in defending the planned project than in actually making it a reality, and the area remained a windblown plain. The moreso, in fact, since the one part of the planned construction that actually did take place was the clearing of the light forest that had covered the area. Czatzdo eventually gave up and sold on the land to a more canny investor, who covered it in cheap housing for the workers of nearby Sunshine and made only slightly less than Czatzdo had expected to with his more elaborate constructions.

Suburbs near Deer Park: