57 Morrah Street, Parkville. Melbourne, Victoria

Houses like this freestanding boom terrace style home are my personal favourites and Parkville is a place which abounds in such examples of high Victoriana. Unrendered and painted in mustard to simulate sandstone, this particular home was built in 1882 1 and retains many of its original features.  Though it appears to currently be undergoing renovations, hopefully much of its character can be preserved.

Freestanding Terrace: 57 Morrah Street, Parkville. Melbourne, Victoria

The parapet hides a gable roof with tall bulky chimney.  Central to it is a large shell motif in the tympanum of the segmental arch which is flanked by scrolls and on either side giant urns.  There is a prominent cornice dotted with brackets.  The party walls have mannerist touches including large circular portals and double scrolls to accentuate their thickness.  Decorative features extend along the side wall which faces Benjamin Street.  These walls extend along either side to the property line and between the piers, a cast iron palisade fence frames the small courtyard.   Three double hung french windows line the upper storey, while the lower level windows have segmented hoods and brackets.  The doorway has an arched fanlight and sidelights with detailed glasswork and a heavy four panel Victorian door.

The balustrade pattern is an example of design 172 by Angus Maclean 15/9/1876 from the Victorian register2.  Some are loose which only serves to add to the charm of this dilapidated terrace.  The balcony is divided into three bays by the cast iron columns and features brackets with a deep rinceau pattern frieze.

It was granted heritage status as early as 1979 with the Parkville Conservation Study3 and subsequently graded C by the City of Melbourne4 and included in heritage overlay HO4 5

  1. City of Melbourne i-Heritage database
  2. Robertson, Graeme. Ornamental Cast Iron in Melbourne. Georgian House Melbourne 1967
  3. Parkville Conservation studies by Nigel Lewis 1979, 1984, Meredith Gould 1985
  4. ibid
  5. City of Melbourne Planning Scheme

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