Athol and Gowrie: 330-332 Punt Road, South Yarra. Melbourne, Victoria

Athol and Gowrie, a pair of single storey Italianate terraces on Punt Road, stands bastardised as an example of what happens when you denude a terrace house.  The balconies have been removed for as long as I can remember, however the trees which once obscured these terraces from the street have been removed more recently and replaced with a paved carparking area, as has the 1960s style awning which were once over the doors and the pastel blue paint which gave it the appearance of a pokey run down cabaret venue.  The plainness of the facade without the verandah is quite evident, however there is a sense of grace in its current incarnation with its simple, almost Georgian like symmetry and cream paint accentuated by the addition of an equally minimalist cream wall.

Athol and Cowrie: 330-332 Punt Road, South Yarra. Melbourne, Victoria

"Gowrie" (330) and "Athol" (332) Punt Road, South Yarra. Melbourne, Victoria

The plain facade is relieved ever so slightly by the flat arched openings and the addition of wrought iron balconettes.  The doors and halls gravitate to the central party wall.  The party walls project only slightly decorated with vermiculation and triglyphs, presumably the bulk of these walls were demolished with the verandah.  The terrace has a delicate cornice giving it a distinctly horizontal emphasis.  Although the parapet is rather plain, it does feature the names of both terraces on the cartouche above each house.  The plainness is relieved by a linked chain balustrade motif and the  pair of pilasters which presumably had its classical pediment above also stripped at some stage revealing the undpainted render of stocky chimneys behind.  The urns or finials have also either fallen off or been removed at some stage.

This terrace, does not have any heritage protection which is not suprising as only a small section of Punt Road is – the roads department has eyed this section for widening to become a freeway since the 1950s.  Melbourne would definitely lose some gems along this strip so I hope if it comes to the crunch that a tunnel is chosen instead.

While this terrace is difficult to date given its current condition, the popularity of the linked chain balustrade motif of Melbourne’s Italianate terraces was shortlived and began around 1887, so I would imagine it dates to at least then.

The terraces appear to borrow the names of two historical Scottish provinces.

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