Oberwyl, St Kilda, 1856

Original post 15 June 2020

Images 6 September 2019

#Oberwyl, Burnett Street, #StKilda, 1856. Described as #Regency, as seen in the fine proportions and delicate detailing, though more columns and elaboration than the English originals (would have been even more charming with the upper level #verandah that I’m assuming was once there, presumably #castiron, though it was added in the 1870s).

One of the many of the mansions and grand terraces that made St Kilda a wealthy suburb in the 19th century that survive, often hidden or transformed, but this one unaltered despite a long interesting history because it was a girls school from 1867-1930, and stayed in the same family from 1910 right up to 1996 (!).

It also ha a very multi cultural history – it was built by Portuguese entrepreneur John Gomez de Silva, the girls school was started by Swiss born Madame Elise Pfund (that’s her and her pupils) and later by French Madame Mouchette, who started the #AllianceFrancais here in c1890. Interiors from the last sale in 2016.

Ballroom wing added 1861.

A better informed historian than me has pointed to these two photos showing it’s been changed -twice ! The current verandah did have an upper level, removed by the 1940s, and added presumably late 19thC; its a lovely light design with pierced pilasters, probably in timber. But before that, it only had a portico, a very 1850s approach (designed by architect John Felix Mathews), and curious cantilevered balconies, not sure I’ve seen that before. The first photo is held by the @library_vic, the last photo, taken c1871, when it was known as Etloe Hall, is held in the Port Phillip Heritage Collection, but isn’t on line.

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