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Our Projects

688 Drummond St, Carlton North

This is one of four single storey terraces constructed between 1905 and 1908. The single fronted Federation terrace has render banding to the façade and a decorative render parapet. The building also features a pair of tall narrow windows and a verandah across the front with a cast iron frieze.

There were remnants of the original black tuckpointing however this was in a visibly deteriorated state with some sections of tuckpointing missing. The VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $5,000 towards the cost of re-pointing the front façade, side walls and brick fence pillars.

The tuckpointing has greatly improved the appearance of the building in the streetscape.

The residence at 115 Spensley Street is a Victorian two storey brick corner shop and residence. It has bi-chrome brickwork with red brick walls and cream brick quoins to the doors and windows. The corner section of the ground floor has shopfront windows and a corner double door entry. The upper windows have been replaced with aluminium windows but the openings remain the same size. The property is contributory in HO316 Clifton Hill Heritage Overlay Precinct.

Sometime in the late twentieth century, the sash windows on the first floor of the building were replaced with aluminium windows. The funding application was to replace the five aluminium windows on the upper level, with timber framed double hung sash windows, as would have been originally and to match the two double hung timber sash windows that are extant on the first floor. The original openings and bluestone sills had been retained to these altered windows therefore the new windows could fit within the original openings without any substantial brick works.

In August 2023 the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $10,000 towards the aluminium window replacement with timber sash windows.

The replacement of these aluminium windows with timber sash windows has returned the building to an earlier appearance and greatly improves the appearance of the historic building in the streetscape, especially given it is built up to the footpath and very prominent in the streetscape.

This building was constructed in 1887-89. The two level verandah was designed by Molloy and Smith, Architects and built in 1901. The club was originally established by early inhabitants of Ballarat, some of whom were associated with the Eureka uprising. The building comprises a restrained Renaissance facade, four bays of shops on the ground floor and a central arched entrance to the club rooms. Externally the building is substantially intact apart from two of the four shop fronts. The building is individually listed in the Heritage Overlay HO69 and contributory to the Lydiard Street Heritage Precinct HO171.

The funded works involved reinstatement of the two altered shop fronts to match the intact shop fronts with their recessed entries and shop front windows and highlight windows. The reinstatement was also based on historical and photographic evidence. The upper sections of glazing to the two subject shop were intact but covered over and provided evidence of the original shop front door and window configuration as well as detailing. Reinstatement included new brass window frames, new glazing and leadlight, pressed metal ceilings and new door frames and doors to match original detailing. Wendy Jacobs, Conservation architect, detailed the reinstatement works and managed the completion of the works.

In February 2017, the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $20,000 towards reinstatement of the two shop fronts.

The works which were based on historical evidence, return the row of shops to their original appearance and greatly enhances the contribution these shops make to the important Lydiard Street historic streetscape.

This is one in a row of 4 two-storey Victorian terraces including a shop on the corner. The row of matching terraces was built in 1890 and feature a pediment to the parapet with decorative brackets, arcaded verandahs to the ground floor and polychrome brickwork. The buildings were designed by James Clarke and built by Donald McDonald. The property is contributory in the Carlton North Precinct HO326

The proposed work for funding involved paint removal to the ground floor under verandah elevation and re-pointing of the ground floor facade. There was evidence that the brickwork was originally tuckpointed and the aim was to match the adjacent property to the left where tuckpointing had already been reinstated.

In April 2021, the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $7,500 towards the paint removal and re-pointing.

The paint removal and tuckpointing works have greatly improved the contribution this terrace makes to the row of terraces and enhances its appearance in the streetscape.

Gordon House was built in 1883 for George Coppin, theatrical entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist George Selth Coppin. Coppin was one of the fathers of Australian theatre. The building was conceived as subsidised accommodation for actors and was modelled on the Chelsea Model Lodging House in London. The courtyards were supposed to allow for maximisation of natural light and air. Renowned Melbourne architect William Pitt designed Gordon House as a three storey brick building with basement and internal courtyards. The symmetrical facade is eclectically derived from Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance sources. Gordon House remained a lodging house until 1976.

Gordon House is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria. Gordon House is architecturally significant as Victoria’s only nineteenth century philanthropic model lodging house complex. It is one of the more austere and unusual works of the architect William Pitt, designed using an eclectic mixture of Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance styles. Gordon House is historically significant for its association with the philanthropy of the leading actor and theatrical entrepreneur, George Selth Coppin. Coppin was one of the leading entrepreneurs of Australian theatre before the arrival of JC Williamson. The property is included on the Victorian Heritage Register VHR443 and in the Heritage Overlay HO685.

In 1992 Gordon House was subdivided into individual apartments, with many being managed as serviced apartment by the Quest Group. The original signage of Gordon House was covered by Quest Signage. Quest Gordon House ceased operation in early 2020. Their signage was removed and uncovered the original two signs from when Gordon House was public housing. The grant application was to restore these signs to their original appearance. Following advice from the VHRF team, the applicants sought advice and a quote from Grimwade Conservation Services for conservation of the signage who provided a sound methodology for conservation of the signs as follows:

1. Research the history of the signs and search for old photographs depicting the original colour.
2. Take samples and undertake analysis of existing finishes and mortar.
3. Take detailed measurements of existing remnant lettering using
4. Make up moulds to suit based on measurements and cast new letters, including s/steel armature & cast-in pins, in mortar.
5. Install new, precast letters using pins to affix them to the building.
6. Repair losses to the materials substrate in situ using the mortar composition determined by analysis.
7. Repaint the sign using colour and binder informed by sample analysis.

In April 2021, the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of the full amount of $19,250 towards the sign restoration.

The conservation works have returned the signage to their original appearance using the original materials. The restored signs greatly improves the appearance of the entry of the building in the Little Bourke Street streetscape.

This is the corner building of one of three, two-storey stuccoed brick shops and residences constructed in 1885. The building at 492 is the largest and has a splayed corner. The parapets have arched entablatures above the deep cornice. The first floor facades have the paired arched windows with flat, pediments and sills, and the string-mould at the storey line. Vermiculated panels are applied to the pilasters, which divide the shops and in the spandrels of the window pairs. The building is contributory to the North Melbourne Heritage Overlay Precinct.

The building had been painted with multiple coats of thick paint with some areas having a textured finish indicating a skim coat of render has been applied over layers of paint. The original finish would have been rendered cement with ruled ashlar lines and a tinted wash over the render. The grant application was for removal of the paintwork and façade and parapet render repairs.

In November 2019, the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $32,000 towards the façade works under the Melbourne Landmark and Community Building stream run in the 2020 financial year.

The paint removal works revealed the original stone colour lime wash finish as well as extensive painted signage advertising Velvet Soap and the former use of the building as a Grocer. In consultation with the VHRF Architect, the applicant has decided not to remove the painted signage as this is an important part of the history of the building and there are sections of the building showing the original tinted lime wash that are also important to retain. If the building were to be re-finished in a lime wash, the painted signage would need to be removed and it is considered that removal of the paint has in itself transformed the appearance of the building as viewed in the streetscape. As a result of the project owner/applicant has become very engaged with the conservation approach and is now a champion for using sound conservation methods on heritage buildings.