Mentone Railway Station, on the Frankston Railway Line, was known as Balcombe Road when it opened in 1881 as part of the extension from Caulfield to Mordialloc of what was then the Sandringham Line. The extant station buildings and plantings were constructed in 1913-14 after the original station buildings were destroyed by fire.
The complex consists of two bluestone and red brick platforms, a timber station building on each of the platforms, an underpass, gardens on the railway reserve on the western side of the station and the carpark on the eastern side. Constructed in the upgrade of extant station facilities in 1913-14, both station buildings are single storey timber structures with cantilevered platform verandahs constructed in what Ward and Connelly (1982) describe in their survey of Victorian railway architecture as the Gisborne Style. Cladding on the buildings is weatherboard, with roughcast render above door height and half timbered gables on the larger and more decorative upside platform buildings. The roofs and verandahs are corrugated iron sheet, and the verandahs are faced with a ripple iron valance. Although largely intact, some alterations have occurred. A roof has been replaced with a new hip roof, as well as the removal of a wing on the south end.
The Gardens have undergone some modification but still contain a number of plantings dating to the second decade of the 1900s including three mature Canary Island Palms (Phoenix canariensis) and two Norfolk Island Pines (Araucaria heterophylla). Various objects of local historical significance have been relocated to the Park including the commemorative Garryowen Horse Trough relocated from the local showgrounds in the 1990s.
With Davies' Coffee Palace (1887), Mentone Station and the associated gardens are a considered component of the town plan in Sir Matthew Davies concept for a seaside 'resort' close to Melbourne at Mentone.
In their comprehensive State wide comparative study, Ward and Connelly (1982) consider Ripponlea Railway Station (H1588) and the Mentone Railway Station and Gardens, to be outstanding examples of an Edwardian timber railway station with an associated public garden in the railway reserve.
How is it Significant?
The Mentone Railway Station and Gardens is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria
Why is it Significant?
Although the station buildings and plantings date to the second decade of the 20th century, the Mentone Railway Station and Gardens is of historical significance for its association with the development of Melbourne's suburbs during the land boom of the 1880s, and in particular the notable land boom developer, Sir Matthew Davies. The arrival of the railway in 1881 was critical to the development of the resort town of Mentone, which became associated with bayside recreation and horse racing.
Mentone Railway Station and Gardens is of architectural significance as an intact example of an Edwardian timber complex with associated public garden in the railway reserve. Together with Ripponlea Railway Station (H1588), Mentone Railway Station is an outstanding example of a metropolitan railway station constructed in the Gisborne Style. The Gardens are well maintained and are comparable with Footscray Station (H1563) and Ripponlea Station (H1588). The two Norfolk Island Pines (Araucaria heterophylla) appear to be an unusual planting in Melbourne's Railway Reserves.
At the local level, the Mentone Railway Station Gardens are of social significance as the centre of regular local community activities and events.