Queen Bess Row, built in 1886-87, was designed by the Melbourne architects Tappin Gilbert & Dennehy. Queen Bess Row is made up of three houses that appear to be one large four storeyed mansion with a central Flemish-influenced gable and two minor pediments over the flanking wings. Prominent chimneys, dormers, arcaded and grouped windows, steeply pitched roofs, red brick walls and stone dressing all contribute to a picturesque outline. On the main facade there are a substantial number of round-arched openings with stone or render dressing and keystone mouldings. String courses run around the building. The interior is of a predominantly Jacobean character with leaded lights, mantels and panelling.
How is it significant?
Queen Bess Row is of architectural and social significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Queen Bess Row is architecturally significant as a fine example of the work of the notable architectural firm of Tappin Gilbert and Dennehy, who during the 1880s, designed a number of important buildings throughout Victoria. Queen Bess Row is the first fully developed example of the Queen Anne Revival in the style of noted English architect Richard Norman Shaw and marks the advent of a style that was to dominate 20 years of Melbourne's domestic architectural history.
Queen Bess Row has social significance for its associations with the Temperance Movement. The Temperance Movement was an influential organisation in Victoria and had lobbied hard for the 1885 Licensing Act. Queen Bess Row is an early surviving Temperance Hotel, known otherwise as a Coffee Palace.
Queen Bess Row is socially significant for its use as apartments from the late 1880s, a fall-back purpose that was incorporated into its design. It was one of the first buildings to be used as apartments in Victoria, before later becoming a terrace of three houses.