What is significant? The Rose Street and Buckley Street Precinct, Essendon, is significant, comprising 112-118 & 123-131 Buckley Street, 1-51 Rose Street, and the Essendon Railway Station. The precinct comprises the 1909 railway station as well as single and double-storey shops constructed almost all from 1910 to 1926. They are all of masonry construction, some employing red brick and render banding, many rendered with brick accents, and later examples using roughcast render or clinker brick to contrast with red face brick. Almost all of the shops have some form of arched parapet, whether a single semi-circular arch over a shop, or more complex arrangements over multiple shops. Styles in the precinct are primarily Edwardian Free Classical, and interwar Stripped Classical, plus the unusual Arts & Crafts funeral parlour and chapel at 129-131 Buckley Street.
All buildings in the precinct are Contributory, apart from the Significant Essendon Railway Station and the Non-contributory 9-11 Rose Street.
Key attributes that contribute to the significance of the precinct include:
- The consistency of scale (one and two storeys), form (parapets, usually arched), siting (built to the front and side boundaries), original cladding materials (face brick, render, roofs clad in corrugated iron where concealed behind a parapet, or tiled where visible) of Contributory buildings.
- The high degree of intactness of the Contributory buildings above parapet level.
- The retention of original shopfronts with solid stallboards (clad in tiles or bricks), metal-framed display and highlight windows, recessed entries with tiled floors, and timber-framed glazed doors at 114, 116 & 125 Buckley Street and 17, 19, 29 (partial), 35, 37, 47 & 49 Rose Street.
- The absence of vehicle crossovers.
Post-WWII alterations and additions are not significant.
How is it significant? The Rose Street and Buckley Street Precinct is of local historical, architectural and aesthetic significance to the City of Moonee Valley (while the Essendon Railway Station is of State significance).
Why is it significant? It is historically significant for demonstrating the major impact the reconstruction of the Essendon Railway Station in 1909 had on the area, both spurring its development and inspiring its skyline of picturesque curved parapets. A year later three groups of shops were built on Rose Street, and the retail strip was fully developed by 1926, extending to the south side of Buckley Street. (Criterion A)
It is architecturally significant for its demonstration of the architectural styles popular during the Edwardian and early interwar periods, particularly Edwardian Free Classical and interwar Stripped Classical. (Criterion D)
It is aesthetically significant for its visual cohesion, thanks to its rapid period of development and the dialogue set up between the 1909 Essendon Railway Station and the shops facing it. They mirror its Free Classical undulating parapets with arches between raised piers, creating a picturesque skyline. The precinct is enhanced by the large number of shops that retain their original shopfronts. (Criterion E)