Victorian townhouses in the Paris End, an early conservation win.

First posted 9 November 2019

#MelvilleHouse, one of the few big houses/terrace houses built for the medical profession in the 19th century, when the #parisend was the Harley St of Melbourne. They were built for Dr Ray in 1881, and designed by #NathanielBillings, in a fairly elaborate #RenaissanceRevival. They were knocked over her and shops put in in 1927, and I found a few old photos but none before WW2. Theyre 1985, 1978, and 1956, when lots of Melbourne’s Victorian architecture was largely black with years of uncleared grime. Surprised that they’re on the #VictorianHeritageRegister, though that happened in 1985 when prob there was concern that they might be demolished. Only the fronts were #heritagelisted and kept, and the ground level rebuilt Victorian style, but with odd details, and not the original cos nobody knows what it was like. I like it, suitably detailed, but a trained eye (like mine!) can tell it’s not actually Victorian.

Update 21 July 2020 – it won an award ! 1992 RAIA (Vic) commercial alterations & additions. Architect Peter McGann.

#MelvilleHouse became an example of #frontportionism, from c1989, where the front room or two deep is retained, and high rise built behind. In this case it’s about 8m deep with the tower a couple more. It would work better if the 60s reserve bank had a podium instead of an inset driveway, so you couldn’t see the side. And maybe if the tower wasn’t the same colour. I like the multiple pediments on top though, very #postmodernclassical. Developers Dexus Corp bought this recently as well as the Reserve Bank next door, which thru want to demolish, leaving the front of this I guess, and maybe they will build a podium !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.