Baker’s Terrace: 156-184 Lake Street. Perth, Western Australia

This row of fifteen double storey terraces, erected in 1897 is the longest remaining in Perth and Western Australia and has an intriguing history. Named after cartage contractor Robert Baker,1 it was condemned by the government in the 1950s and only narrowly escaping the wrecking ball.2

Bakers Terrace 156-184 Lake Street Perth Western Australia

Purchased for speculative development in 1895, the land was part of the Northbridge estate, however was aimed at a middle class clientele and began selling in 1897.  The row was purchased by Hyan Hester in 1921 and the houses progressively sold to individuals.  3

It was condemned by the government in the 1950s but was fortunately saved.4

The terrace received heritage listing in April 1996.5

Architecturally it is similar to the prevailing Melbourne Italianate style, though with some distinctly federation elements, such as the red “blood and bandage” brick facade.  The parapet rises for the end terraces and three mid terraces only with the mid terrace featuring a cornice, triangular pediment, inscription and flanking ball finials.  Other parapets are plain and feature only only circle chain balustrades. This leaves much of the remaining roof and the squared brick chimneys revealed more akin to the prevailing Sydney style, although the party walls do not penetrate the roof.  The remaining eaves are decorated with pairs of carved wooden brackets.  The unusual asymmetric combination of chimney and central parapet is notable.

Just a handful of these homes remain in their original unpainted, unrendered brick – 156, 168, 170 and 180 and unfortunately overgrown gardens make appreciation (photographic at least) of the row in its entirety but impossible.

The party walls feature vermiculated ends with acanthus scrolls.  Each verandah bay is evenly divided by an undecorated support post, while decorated in iron lacework.  Like many Perth terraces, a very fine open balustrade.  The fringe and brackets are the same at both levels, however there are two prevailing styles of one of heavy deeper concave and the prevailing lighter convex style which leaves the viewer unsure which is closer to the original pattern.

  1. A Brief History of the Suburb Perth. Town of Vincent Local Studies 2005
  2. Town of Vincent Local Studies 2005
  3. Lewis, Richard. Baker’s Terrace Houses (Northbridge) given heritage listing. Government of Western Australia.10, April, 1996
  4. Town of Vincent Local Studies 2005
  5. Lewis, Richard. Baker’s Terrace Houses (Northbridge) given heritage listing. Government of Western Australia.10, April, 1996

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Recent Discussion
  • Lesley Poker: Built in 1874. Originally built by a John Watson ( very wealthy) who built the one next door for his...
  • Anne: Thanks for your comment. We own one of these terraces and would be interested in any info you have.
  • Kate Van Dyck: Love this photo. One off my GG Grandfather’s lived in No 21 and died at that address. So...
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