Pulteney House and St Frances House: 45-47 Carlisle Street, St Kilda. Melbourne, Victoria

Despite the efforts of multi-storey flats in recent years, the 1880s boom style terraces of Puteney House and St Frances House still dominate the streetscape between the Barkly Street and St Kilda Road junctions of Carlisle Street. The pair of white double storey “Melbourne style” or “Boom style” terraces form a small row with prominent classical parapets.

St Fergus House (45) and Pulteney House (47) Carlisle Street, St Kilda

St Frances House (45) and Pulteney House (47) Carlisle Street, St Kilda

The parapets are dressed classical triangular pediments with blind balustrades and urns forming twin Palladian motifs over a decorative frieze of repeated swags in the style of elaborate Italianate villas. The terraces themselves are dressed in classical adornment with flat arched bay windows at the bases.

The patterns of classical urns and acanthus corbels is repeated on the verandahs which are decorated in rich cast iron filigree fretwork featuring a series of repeated flowers in an intermediate framed wooden frieze with a single cast iron column offset to define the doorways on the left. One of them has a growing vine and both have their original detailed ground floor parquetry tile intact. Vertical protruding mouldings of circular and rectangular shapes give emphasis and detail. Blind arches are on each side of each level, presumably either waiting to be opened or closed off at some stage while an unsympathetic walled fence obviously helps to block the bustle of the busy street.

I’m not certain of the origin of the names of these terraces.  St Frances may have been named for Saint Frances (Frances of Rome).  Pulteney, on the other hand is more the more obscure name.

While not listed of state significance, these terraces are offered local heritage protection through the City of Port Phillip heritage overlay (HO7).

I’m not sure of the date or architect, it looks likely that this pair was built around 1887-88.



One Response to “Pulteney House and St Frances House: 45-47 Carlisle Street, St Kilda. Melbourne, Victoria”

  • Trisha Aguado:

    My Great Uncle, Israel (Charles) Cohen, owned these houses until his death in 1936. I’d love to know more of their history, if anyone can add to it.

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