8-14 Morang Road, Hawthorn. Melbourne, Victoria

Despite being some of the architecturally most impressive in the area, this row of five double storey Hawthorn (polychrome) brick houses is scarcely mentioned in official heritage studies, particularly the Morang Road precinct1, although neighbouring single storey terraces are.  Perhaps it is assumed.  In any case these boom style Italianate terraces were erected in 1887 (as indicated on the parapet) as a speculative development, exploiting the proximity to Hawthorn railway station which had increased in prominence with the line’s extension to Camberwell.

Terrace Houses: 8-14 Morang Road, Hawthorn. Melbourne, Victoria

Situated on a gentle incline, the houses march with subtlety down the hill.  They are individually named – Dorney and Crayla (8); Brefny (10); Lucan (12); and Aylmer (14).  Presumably these names are consistently derived from England and Ireland, such as Dorney (English town); Brefny (Irish town); Lucan (Irish town) and Aylmer (Irish peerage), although the origin of the name “Crayla” is a mystery to me.

An interesting aspect of the parapet is that the pediments are alternated between triangular and segmental arches, although all other aspects are identical.  The effect adds rhythm and interest to the facade and effectively hides four large chimneys  per house, a generous fireplace for each room.  The chimneys are themselves decorated with a step profile, polychrome quoins, large cornices and unusual moulded arch “pots” creating a picturesque sillhouette.  The symmetrical parapets feature a central pediment above plain pilasters which frame each home’s name.  The pediment is crowned and includes a patterned relief and urns with finials.  The end and mid terraces have triangular and the two terraces between have segmental arched pediments.  The patterns and motifs also differ, with the triangular pedimented parapets flanked by blind stucco balustrades while the tympanum of the segmental arches feature large shell motifs and substitute flanking balustrades with rinceau patterned panels. Completing the parapet is a bold cornice comprised of triglyphs paired and spaced by a frieze of fanciful repeated decorations.

The verandahs are capped by a skillion corrugated iron roof which has Victorian colour bandings.  The party walls have triangular projections and are quoined in polychrome brick – in fact three colours – brown, cream with subtle ochre highlights.  Classic iron lacework features a frieze, bracket and fringe combination on both levels, however the ground storey has a deep wooden framed frieze.. The cast iron balusters are in panel and spacer combination.
Decoration around doors and windows is provided for with stunning zig-zagging cream brick patterning.  Both levels have tall doors with transom lights.

The terraces are within the City of Boroondara’s heritage overlay HO156.2

References

  1. Hawthorn Heritage. 1997
  2. City of Boroondara Planning Scheme

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