The Eltham Gateway is the name adopted for the section of Main Road Eltham leading from the roundabout at Fitzsimons Lane to the Eltham town centre.
The name has its origin in a 1987 planning report for Eltham Shire Council that identified this precinct as having special characteristics that warrant special planning protection. The area includes historic and other "Eltham character" buildings, significant parkland and extensive canopy tree cover. The land fronting this section of Main Road now has its own special planning controls that are intended to preserve the character that is so important to Eltham and its residents.
This part of Main Road has been the main entrance to Eltham from the earliest times of European settlement. Originally the only access was through Lower Plenty but 50 years ago the Fitzsimons Lane Bridge over the Yarra River was opened, providing alternative access. This joined Main Road at Eltham South and from there the traditional road into Eltham was followed.
Part of today’s Main Road follows Maria Street of Josiah Holloway’s 1851 subdivision of Little Eltham. It is well known local history that before the coming of the railway in 1902 the Eltham "town centre" stretched along Maria Street, generally between Brougham and Bridge Streets. The remaining buildings from this period provide a significant character component of today’s Eltham Gateway.
Source: Eltham District Historical Society