Victoria House and Hopetoun House: 22-24 Northcote Road, Armadale. Melbourne, Victoria

There is a certain grace and elegance to Armadale’s terraces.  Many are grand, but exist in very short rows.  Along the eastern side of Northcote Road there are several grand examples set high up back from the street obviously a vantage from which they have elevated views of the city skyline.  This double storey row at 22-24 is no exception.  I find it particularly interesting as for a boom style pair they manage to pull off a sense of grandeur despite their comparatively refined ornament.

Terrace Houses: Hopetoun House (22) and Victoria House (24) Northcote Road Armadale, Victoria

Terrace Houses: Hopetoun House (22) and Victoria House (24) Northcote Road Armadale, Victoria

The style is both Italianate and free classical with the key feature being the double storey loggia, which diverts from the standard all lacework balcony.  Iron lacework is still present, but only on the balustrade.  It is subdued but emphasized by the two elegant and evenly spaced smooth corinthian columns which rise to support the three fine jagged arches of each compartment.  A great sense of symmetry is instilled by the duplicated parapets, each framing the name and date of the terrace in a curved pediment topped by a royal crown motif which completely hides the slate tile hipped roof. 

Atop a balustrade of knotted linked circles and vermiculated pediments sits a solitary oversized urn.  Presumably there were once a large urn at either end of the terrace.  The smaller pilasters would tend to indicate that two more urns are missing from either side of the pediment.

The facade is otherwise deliberately restrained in ornament string course mouldings and surrounds of the two large rectangular windows of the top floor of each terrace are rather plain.  The bottom floors on the other hand are unusually tall and narrow. The front doors have classic Victorian boom style etched glass panel surrounds. The party walls are barely noticeable even with the presence of pilasters, however it projects to dramatically divide the two yards cascading profile down to street level in a grand statement.

It is likely that the terrace was named in honour of John Hope (7th Earl of Hopetoun) who was quite popular when he became Governor of Victoria the year in which it the terrace was built.

The are provided some protection through City of Stonnington heritage overlay HO130.

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