77-79 Grey Street, St Kilda. Melbourne, Victoria

This architecturally fascinating eclectic double storey terraced pair located on once fashionable but now seedy St Kilda Hill features aspects of both Federation and Queen Anne styles merged with the terrace house idiom with its distinctive “blood and bandage” red brick and cream render. A picturesque effect is achieved through the central gable parapet along with the steeply pitched slate roof high chimneys with their terracotta pots. Dating to 1892, the residences were built for Gavan Shaw, a wine merchant who owned and lived in a neighbouring mansion. For many years, however, it operated as a backpacker hostel known as “St Kilda Lodge”.

77-79 Grey Street St Kilda

The entryways are placed within the central bay appear as an arcaded base with keystone arches and pilasters ascending in pilasters to a Dutch style triangular crown of urns, festoon and sunray decorations with fanciful sills on the upper windows. The facade also features glazed diamond checker tiles. On either side are iron lacework with frieze, brackets and balconies, a feature of which is their curved balustrade panels. The fence is similarly decorated in cast iron in a semi-art noveau pattern with brick piers.

The facade fell into disrepair in the early 2000s with partial collapse of the verandah structures along with missing side ball urns. Until recently the interiors were substantially intact with elaborate mantles over the fireplaces, however in 2009 it was converted into flats and many of the interior features removed with a heritage permit.

The terrace is on the Victorian Heritage Register.1 and situated within a City of Port PHillip Heritage overlay, HO145.2

Comparisons could be made to similarly eclectic 1-3 Church Street in Waverley New South Wales with its central bay treatment.

References

  1. Victorian Heritage Register file H0796
  2. City of Port Phillip Planning Scheme

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