Review of B Graded Buildings in Kew, Camberwell & Hawthorn
Statement of Significance
Individual Statement of Significance
2 Denmark Street, Kew, is of local historical and architectural significance. It is a fine example of a substantial attic storey Federation villa, which despite alterations on the western side and to the rear, is relatively externally intact as viewed from Denmark Street. The house is an impressive example of the use of radial and diagonal planning in Federation architecture, and is one of a relatively small number of houses in the Boroondara area that are known for radial and splayed wing plans, in this case used to directly address a street corner.
The house makes a strong contribution to the intact and impressive group of Federation houses at the lower end of Denmark Street.
Denmark Street PrecinctWhat is significant?The Denmark Street precinct is an area which was gradually subdivided and developed between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the years leading up to World War I. The precinct developed slowly at first, however, in the years surrounding the turn of the century, residential development increased and the sale, by Xavier College, and subdivision of the land to the east side of Denmark Street in 1913 resulted in the rapid construction of a streetscape largely comprising semidetached paired asymmetrical brick villas. The west side of Denmark Street is more varied, with detached Victorian and Federation villas, constructed of brick and weatherboard, and numbers of asymmetrical, semi-detached Federation dwellings similar to those opposite. Foley Street, whilst generally contemporary with the development along Denmark Street, is representative of a range of dwelling types including small, single fronted cottages and more substantial brick villas. The initial slow and piecemeal development of the precinct was concentrated at the southern end close to Barkers Road where only a smattering of Victorian brick cottages were constructed, interestingly distant from the Kew shopping centre.The linear subdivision plan and similar sized allotments characterise the area and are typical of its period of subdivision during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. More specifically, the streetscape along Denmark Street is characterised by uniformity in allotment sizes and front and side setbacks to both sides of the street.Specific buildings of individual and contributory significance which are important to the precinct are identified in the attached schedule.How is it significant?The Denmark Street precinct is historically and architecturally significant to the City of BoroondaraWhy is it significant?Historically, the Denmark Street precinct is significant as an example of the gradual pattern of subdivision and development in this area of Kew from the mid-1870s until the first decades of the twentieth century, for mostly modest residential allotments on the fringes of the Kew retail area. The precinct demonstrates some of the principal characteristics of residential subdivision spread over this period, including a variety of building types and styles from the Victorian and Federation eras. Both single- and double-fronted brick Victorian villas represent the first scattered .wave. of development, with weatherboard Federation villas to Foley Street and brick detached and semi-detached Federation brick villas to Denmark Street being of the second .wave., comprehensively infilling vacant land as economic times improved in the years surrounding the turn of the century. The years leading up to World War I saw the rapid infilling of vacant allotments, with those to Denmark Street capitalising on the railway service and closeness to the city. The precinct is also of note in that the opening of the Kew Railway Station in 1887 does not appear to have stimulated local residential development in the immediate vicinity which, following the subsequent economic bust of the 1890s did not gain new momentum until the more prosperous years of the early twentieth century.Architecturally, the Denmark Street precinct is significant for its variety of building types and styles from the Victorian and Federation eras. Important characteristics include the prevailing single storey nature of residential development, with some attic storey dwellings; brick construction; semi-detached dwellings; prominent verandahs and porches with decorative cast-iron lace or timber fretwork; and terracotta tiled hipped and pitched roofs with visible chimneys. Brick buildings are interspersed with weatherboard villas and cottages; diagonally planned Federation houses and bungalows, with fretwork and timber arches, contrast with Victorian houses. A comparatively high number of lively and varied asymmetrical pairs of semi-detached houses are located in both Foley and Denmark Streets; those concentrated on the east side of Denmark Street in particular, are a defining characteristic of the precinct. The aesthetic significance of the precinct is further enhanced by the broad uniformity of building setbacks; feature verandahs/porches and turret elements; front gardens; and where available, generally low timber picket or brick fences.