While architecturally simple and missing their iron lacework decorations, these four single storey row houses are of a style that is actually quite rare in Melbourne but proliferated in the 1870s in inner Sydney areas such as Glebe and Newtown where extensive rows can be found (example 31-42 Mitchell Street, Glebe). What is distinctive about this style is not the transverse gable configuration, but the combination of the blade party walls, central chimney, slate tile and banded paint (cream and maroon) concave corrugated iron verandahs referred to as Post-regency in Sydney. Constructed between 1870-1872, they were built for John Marley who lived at number 33 and remained their owner until the 1890s.1
Single storey terrace houses: 27-33 Hawke Street, West Melbourne
The subtle decorations are in the form of acanthus corbels on the lower party walls and polychromatic brickwork. Like their Sydney counterparts, these terraces would originally have had a low picket fence, although they now sport a replica cast iron one.
Although my personal opinion is that for the above reasons this is a significant building, the last heritage study undertaken was Graeme Butler’s North and West Melbourne Conservation Study of 1983 which graded it D and although its contribution to the streetscape, and it is also in heritage overlay HO32 however the lack of state listing this does not offer anywhere near the level of heritage status that one would expect or that is afforded to similar rows in Sydney.
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