328-344 Kings Way. South Melbourne, Victoria (demolished 2012)

One of the few remaining on Kings Way, this grand terrace was built by Robert Howard in 1890.1 While the landmark triple “boom style” storey terrace is within its own heritage overlay HO1772, sadly in 2012 the council allowed demolition of all but the facade, along with reconstruction of a noticeably inaccurately reproduction roof and dormers to incorporate the facade into the “Silverleaf” 14 storey apartment tower development which now wraps around and completely overwhelms it. The Decorative  festoons and cornice of the original have been removed in the process, contributing to its current pastiche appearance.

328-344 Kings Way. South Melbourne, Victoria

Former Terrace Houses: 328-344 Kings Way. South Melbourne, Victoria.

The terraces were used commercially for many years, up until 2014, it was an Italian restaurant, using the top levels and balconies for functions and dining.

Architecturally the terraces are extremely interesting with their symmetrical design and eclectic mix of styles.  Arguably the most interesting aspect is its spectacular mansard roof, complete with classical arched dormer windows with pediments double hung arched windows and prominent ledges.   The facade (and formerly the dormers) are adorned with a mix of motifs including Egyptian style crests, wreaths and celtic like engravings in stucco on the thick party walls which sit upon a base of bluestone.  There is a frieze of three festoons below the eaves of each house.  The cast iron lacework fringes consist of a single straight band with a pendant at the midpoint and round brackets on either side.  The cast iron balustrade features a repeating arch pattern like the fringe rich in detail.  The ground level features two large faceted bays with extremely tall arched windows in each bay and a tall arched window which would have been a doorway since converted.

The modern roof cladding is somewhat unsympathetic and originates from a later date, it is my guess that the roof was originally tiled in slate with possible cast iron features.

There wasa third terrace which also features the faceted bay of the taller two and consists of just a single storey sans lacework.  This building may have been originally part of the row or possibly even built sometime later any time up until the 1920s. In any case, it was demolished in 2014.

For many years the building and facade had been neglected.

Thanks to Rohan for the additional info.

  1. Port Phillip Planning Report. Statutory Planning Committee 19th October 2010
  2. Port Phillip Planning Scheme Heritage Overlay

5 Responses to “328-344 Kings Way. South Melbourne, Victoria (demolished 2012)”

  • Not so long ago I posted photos of this pair. It is on our well worn path to our local pub a few doors along. I speculated that the roofs were ugly, with some agreement from those who commented, and that they were a modern alteration.

    Your photo makes it look very nice.

  • rohan:

    Yes i have sometimes thought they might be a modern addition, but really if so they are very well done, so more likely its just that the roof material makes them look maybe new. Surprising if they are original that they are not listed by Natioanl Trust, because steep mansard with dormers like that are very rare in Melb. Sincerely hope that no facade-ment takes place – its a large site it seems, so they could / should do some kind of sympathetic development keeping at least the front portion. Demolishing only to reproduce the facade should not be tolerated ! Its not even seen as good practice in Moscow (where it happens a lot). Perhaps newish Port Phillip Council might have different views. Also one ofthe many heritge studies, eg. 1980s south melb study (not yet on line) should have details of dates, original features etc.

  • rohan:

    Just found the Port Philip planning report, which includes heritage citation :
    “The pair of attached house at No. 328 Kings Way, South
    Melbourne, was erected by the builder Robert Howard in 1890.
    It is important as a survivor in an area recently almost totally
    developed for offices, whilst the mansard treatment to the
    uppermost floor creating a third floor is unusual. The building’s
    connection with Robert Howard, a known speculative builder
    during the Boom period, is of interest.”
    Another comment notes that the roof may have been reconstructed after a fire, and that the original would have been slate; and it is going to be so again.
    report at http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/Report_4_-_328-344_Kings_Way_South_Melbourne.pdf

  • rohan:

    And just went past and now roof is gone and back being bulldozed leaving what looks like a 3m depth left !

  • bigsby:

    Having seen what they’ve done to this place im really surprised they don’t knock it down and spate us the misery. whatever dignity kingsway had is now destroyed. its just a soulless hole now 🙁

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