Evolving Port

Port Melbourne continues to change. Houses are changed or demolished and new houses take their place. New forms of housing are created. Port Houses records some of these changes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Clareville, 101 Spring St, Port Melbourne

Clareville - A House in Port Melbourne




Clareville is thought to hae been constructed in the 1860s or 1870s. Purchased by James B Bartlett at the turn of the 20th Century, Clareville was the location for Bartlett's SP boookmaking operation for around thirty years. The Bartlett family were long time Port residents. James B Bartlett was the son of James John Barlett, former Mayor of Port Melbourne [1884-85], proprietor of the Railway Club Hotel in Raglan St, sporting identity and bookmaker.

Clareville is unusual as an apparently early house which was comprehensively altered at the turn of the century. The result of the alterations exemplifies the stylistic transition that can be seen in many houses constructed at the end of the nineteenth centuy in which the typical form of a Victorian double fronted house was overlaid with elements such as the half timbered gables, terra cotta roof ridging and lead lighted casement windows deriving from the Queen Anne and other Arts and Crafts domestic architectural styles.

source: City of Port Phillip Heritage Review Database No: 685

Saturday, July 16, 2011

106 and 108 Stokes St, Port Melbourne

Thelma and Carmel


'Until March 1902, this site was occupied by a pair of five roomed wooden houses. By March 1903, the owner, Patrick Darcy had erected a pair of five room brick houses. The pair ... are of great importance as intact single storey polychrome brick terraced houses. Both houses have two double hung sash windows with a front door towards the middle of the building. The viruoso use of brick around the windows and doors would be equalled by few houses of this size in Melbourne. Between the verandah and the parapet is a colourful row of glazed tiles interspersed with pairs of brackets and garlands. The central portion of the parapet is contructed in red brick contrasting with the dark brown used in the rest of the house. Elaborate cement render consoles support a central pediment on each house, and under this is the name, also in unpainted cement render. The chimneys are constructed in red and yellow bricks with a refined cement render capping.' 
source: Port Melbourne Conservation Study prepared by Jacobs Lewis Vines Architects and Conservation Planners July 1979

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

52 Crichton Avenue, Port Melbourne




52 Crichton Avenue was the home of former Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society member, Ann Smallpage. Ann moved to Crichton Ave from Warnambool as a child when the Bank Houses were still under construction. Her father was a driver with COR - the Commonwealth Oil Refinery. Ann was a photographer and chronicler of events as well as having a photographic memory. Her detailed recall of events and places has informed the recording of Garden City and Port Melbourne's history during the 20th Century.

Now 52 Crichton Ave has been the subject of a VCAT decision relevant to many planning applications for bank houses. Residents often argue that the 'garden' or backyard is a fundamental attribute of the character of 'Garden City' and should be protected from undue encroachment from extensions. A summary of the VCAT decision says: 'The focus of the objectors case was on the development's interface with neighbouring back yards; they sought to argue that the additions are too large, bulky, would be visually imposing and would diminish the sense of spaciousness of the backyard realm, thus affecting an established feature of the neighbourhood.' The VCAT member reinforced the objective in state planning policy of 
'protecting the streetscape appearance of dwellings - an outcome that involves directing new development to the rear. As a consequence, the backyard character of this area is not static.' 
Since this is the briefest extract from the decision, I recommend reading the summary by clicking here.The full VCAT decision is available here.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Recording Change in Port Melbourne

The Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society houses two photographic collections that I find endlessly fascinating. The Alison Kelly collection contains images of the area now occupied by Beacon Cove including the Mission to Seamen and Centenary Bridge as well as of Port Melbourne in the late eighties. 
Ron Laing used to walk the streets of Port Melbourne with his camera and his dog taking pictures of Beacon Cove and various other developments under construction in the early nineties. He recorded each phase from demolition to completion. My intention with Port Houses is to continue documenting these changes.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Experimental Concrete Houses




The single storey pair of houses at 324 - 326 Howe Parade were the first to be built by the newly established Housing Commission of Victoria at the Fishermen's Bend estate in 1939. They are also of scientific [technical] significance as imporant early examples of the Fowler precast concrete system. For more interesting detail go to http://www.onmydoorstep.com.au/heritage-listing/6023/experimental-concrete-houses

The houses are on the Victorian Heritage Register [H1863] because of their significance and any changes to them require Heritage Victoria approval. A permit [P12535] was granted by Heritage Victoria in January 2010 for a two storey rear extension and conservation works to the registered house. A condition on the permit states that 'the extensive use of external red brick is not consistent with the design philosophy of the experimental concrete house. The use of external face brickwork is to be reduced to provide a finish that is more reflective of the Moderne design of the experimental concrete house such as rendering the brickwork or increased use of rendered cement sheeting.'