Note that the relevant HERCON criteria are shown in brackets.
What is Significant? Mindai at 407 Glenferrie Road, Malvern is a substantial double-storey Old English style house constructed c1934 to designs by accomplished interwar architect A Mortimer McMillan. It was built on land subdivided from the grounds of the nineteenth century mansion Medindie (formerly The Elms).
Elements that contribute to the significance of the place include (but are not limited to):
-The original external form, materials and detailing.
-The high level of external intactness.
-The unpainted state of the face brick and terracotta elements.
-The domestic garden setting (but not the fabric of the garden itself).
-The legibility of the original built form from the public realm.
-The understated presence of on-site vehicle accommodation created by the basement level garage and the general absence of modern garages and carports in the front and side setbacks.
-The clinker brick front fence and wrought iron gates.
Modern fabric is not significant.
How is it significant? Mindai is of local architectural significance to the City of Stonnington.
Why is it significant? Mindai is architecturally significant as a large, skilfully designed and highly intact Old English style residence (Criterion D). The richness of its Medieval inspired detailing and complex articulation of hips and gables exemplifies the picturesque romanticism of the Old English mode (Criterion E).
Mindai is a substantial double-storey Old English style building with clinker brick walls and a terracotta shingle roof. The roof is a complex arrangement of hips and gables with pronounced bracketed eaves and sturdy brick chimneys with paired angled shafts. The Glenferrie Road facade is a picturesque composition with strong allusions to the architecture of Medieval England. The gabled entry porch at the centre of the facade has a rendered Tudor arch, above which is the name of the house 'Mindai' in a Gothic style font. Abutting the south side of the entry porch is a double-storey gable ended bay with prominent corbelled brick eaves and a faceted bay window with decorative rendered panels recalling Medieval heraldry. The facade's clinker brick walls are enlivened by lozenge pattern diaper work. Half-timbering is used sparingly about a front attic storey window and gable ends on the north and rear elevations.
The house appears to remain highly intact externally. A small verandah at the southern end of the Glenferrie Road facade has been enclosed in a sympathetic fashion, apparently retaining the original timber posts and brackets. Relatively minor changes seem to have been made to the Benson Avenue elevation, including the enlargement of three arched ground floor windows. It is also noted that the overall building footprint of the house is essentially unchanged from the first MMBW Plan of Drainage of 1933.
Mindai at 407 Glenferrie Road, Malvern illustrates the following themes, as identified in the Stonnington Thematic Environmental History (Context Pty Ltd, 2006):
8.1.3 The end of an era - mansion estate subdivisions in the twentieth century
8.4.1 Houses as a symbol of wealth, status and fashion
Mindai is of some historical interest as evidence of a major phase of development that took place in the 1920s and 1930s when many of Toorak and Malvern's grand nineteenth century mansion estates were subdivided to create prestigious residential enclaves (TEH 8.1.3 The end of an era - mansion estate subdivisions in the twentieth century). Mindai also illustrates the role of houses generally, and Old English style houses in particular, as symbols of wealth, status and taste for Melbourne's upper classes of the interwar period (TEH 8.4.1 - Houses as a symbol of wealth, status and fashion).