4-22 Gourlay Street, Balaclava. Melbourne, Victoria

This impressive row of ten double storey terraces is located in a well preserved precinct near the site of the Balaclava railway station.  Originally in polychrome brick with unpainted rendered parapets, few in the row are in original condition. The location of these groups of terraces near the railway siding may be explained by the proximity to the station (in the 1980s a new station was built after the old one was demolished, perhaps with platforms closer to the main shopping strip on Carlisle Street). 

Terrace Houses: 4-22 Gourlay Street, Balaclava. Melbourne, Victoria

Terrace Houses: 4-22 Gourlay Street, Balaclava. Melbourne, Victoria

At least one has its balcony boxed in and several have unsympathetic colour schemes and inconsistent iron lacework.  Currently numbers 10 and 18 more closely resemble the original state of the individual houses.  The parapets are italianate, featuring a central shell in the round pediment of a temple motif with crown and flanking scrolls.   Gabled corrugated iron roofs are neatly hidden by the parapet and only glimpses of the chimneys can be seen through the circular balustrade patterns.    As noted, the facades originally featured a zig-zag polychrome brickwork effect around the windows and doors and a dotted effect on the blind arches of the party walls – this is still evident on the couple of terraces mentioned.  Hopefully the others may someday be sandblasted to reveal similar detail.  The party walls are decorated with panels of vermiculation above neat scroll corbels and frame a double storey verandah with its roof pitched at such an angle that they are just visible from the opposite side of the street   Symmetry is achieved by the central cast iron verandah column which splits the houses around which are brackets and fringes.  Some of these columns are turned wood (obviously later replacements) and some cast iron.  The cast iron balustrade has spaced panels with vertical inserts.

The terraces were only recently heritage listed as part of a 2009 heritage study by the City of Port Phillip.  They are now within heritage overlay HO7 which gives them some heritage controls.  Their date is estimated at before 18891, most likely 1888.

  1. Port Phillip Heritage Review, Version 14, 2009

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