The Tasman Sea and Coogee Bay along with Coogee Beach lie towards the eastern side of the suburb. The beach is popular for swimming. The boundaries of Coogee are formed mainly by Clovelly Road, Carrington Road and Rainbow Street, with arbitrary lines drawn to join these thoroughfares to the coast in the north-east and south-east corners.
Coogee was gazetted as a village in 1838, in 1863 the first school was built which was later converted to become the Coogee Bay Hotel in 1873, three years later in 1876 Coogee Public School was established. In late 1887, Coogee Palace Aquarium and swimming baths followed by the construction of the Coogee pier in 1928 which was later demolished in 1934.
Coogee was connected to the City of Sydney by electric tram in 1902. The suburb's popularity as a seaside resort was then guaranteed. The line branched from the line to Clovelly at Darley Rd in Randwick. It ran down King St beside the Randwick Tram Workshops, then ran in its own reservation to Belmore Rd. It then ran down Perouse Rd, St Pauls St, Carr St and Arden St before terminating in a balloon loop in Dolphin St at Coogee Beach. It ran through several small tram reservations on its way down from Randwick to the beach. The line from Randwick to Coogee opened in 1883, and electric services were introduced in 1902. The line closed in 1960. It follows the current route of bus 373.
The Coogee Surf Life Saving Club was founded in 1907. Population growth began in earnest in the 1920s. An English-style seaside entertainment pier stood at the beach between 1928 and 1934, but it was demolished after serious damage by the surf.
Built in the early 1890s and occupied by a Mrs T.M. Alcock was a large mansion known as Maidstone, which stands in Waltham Street beside St Brigid's Church.The house features a metal cupola and cedar fittings inside. The Catholic Church bought the building in 1922 and it was restored to its original style by Provincial House of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.
Located in Alison Road is a two-storey Federation mansion named Ocean View. The house was built in 1916 by Philip Wirth, of Wirth's Circus.
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