Terrace Houses like once curved toward key intersections of Melbourne’s famous boulevarde St Kilda Road, including the Domain and St Kilda Junction. However this vestigal row at St Kilda Junction is one of few remaining in an area now dominated by modern hi-rise and has been adaptively reused as offices. The row of three double storey Italianate terraces, with the naming of “Luzmore” on 645 is a rare example of the concertina style of terrace in Melbourne and are quite elaborate. The northern party wall, despite painting reveals shadow outlines of floors and walls indicating that they may once have been part of a larger row which was at some stage partially demolished.
Urns cap both the party walls and parapet. The parapet itself features two large urns on classical pedestals connected with a row of balustrade. The cornice projects beneath both pedestals to form a ledge propped up by twin brackets. There is some vermiculation on the uppermost section of the party wall.
Another distinctive feature is the repeated vertical patterning on the party walls. The ends of the floors are marked with protruding ends decorated with floral patterns and propped up by corbels. The style of the corbels are notably different at each level. At the top there are two side by side scrolls, at the verandah level there is a single wide scroll and at the lower level thin double scrolls stacked vertically.
The party walls and parapets are both heavy in appearance however the terraces appear light. This is in part due to high ceilings, a lack of columns on the verandah and very fine iron lacework fringes, brackets and balustrades on the verandah. There is a single, very fine pendant at the centre of both the upper and lower fringes.
The bottom floor has a single double hung window, while the upper floor has two, with no direct access to the upper verandah.
649 has been heavily modified (possibly in the 1960s) with its iron palisade fence having been replaced by a large besser wall, it is missing its original verandah ironwork (it has an inauthentic replacement balustrade) and is also the only one in the row without its urns.
The forecourt of the neigbouring Marquise apartment tower (although a nice piece of modern architecture) unfortunately rudely breaks the rhythm of the street set by the row.
The boom style would suggest they were built sometime around 1887-1888.
The terraces are provided with heritage protection under the City of Port Phillip planning scheme as part of a heritage overlay.1
- City of Port Phillip Planning Scheme HO257 ↩