'Braeside' at 6 Alexandra Ave, Canterbury is significant. It was constructed c1890-91 for owner Donald Mackay, a plasterer, who was most likely the designer and builder of the house.
It is a single-fronted freestanding terrace house. Walls are constructed of Hawthorn brick with red brick dressing and tuck pointing, while the simple hipped roof is covered in slates. Doors and windows have a round-arched form.
The front facade is highly intact, as are the two original chimneys.
The rear extension of 1989, the front fence and the carport are not significant.
How is it significant?
'Braeside' is of local aesthetic and architectural significance and rarity value to the City of Boroondara.
Why is it significant?
The large round chimneys of 'Braeside' with their Greek-inspired ornament are a unique decorative element in Canterbury and the City of Boroondara, and distinguish this Victorian house from others in the municipality. It is also distinguished by the survival of a higher than average level of embellishment, including acanthus-leaf eaves brackets, vine-leaf verandah cast iron, and the arched entry that retains an arched highlight and sidelights of ruby-flashed glass and etched glass. (Criterion E)
'Braeside' is one of a small number of Victorian houses in Boroondara that employs Greek Revival decorative details. Mass-produced cast-ironwork for verandahs in a Greek key, or meander, pattern is the most common. This same motif is also seen on at least one house as a beltcourse executed in cast cement. The use of sheet-metal acroteria at the corners of rainwater gutters survives on a few houses, but no other examples comparable to the multiple acroteria on the chimneys of 'Braeside' are known. (Criterion B)
'Braeside' is a freestanding terrace house, of the type more commonly seen in Boroondara's suburbs nearest the CBD, Hawthorn and Kew. Its massing and form are typical of the late Victorian period, with a simple hipped roof with bracketed eaves and wing walls around the verandah. It is one of a small number of such houses in Canterbury, which was characterised in the nineteenth century by freestanding villa forms designed for larger suburban blocks. (Criterion D)
'Braeside' is a single-fronted Victorian Italianate house built in a terrace house form, though it is freestanding. Walls are constructed of Hawthorn brick with red brick dressing and tuck pointing, while the simple hipped roof is covered in slates. Cast-cement eaves brackets are decorated with an acanthus leaf pattern. A verandah with skillion roof runs between two wing walls which are decorated with vermiculation above scrolled console brackets. The original beaded verandah beam is evident. A cast-iron frieze and brackets are decorated in a vine leaf pattern. The verandah floor has been retiled sympathetically, though the bullnose edging appears to be cast-concrete rather than bluestone.
The entry door is located to one side of the facade; it is a four-panel door with bolection mouldings and fielded panels. It sits within a round-arched opening with ruby flashed glass to the sidelights and the border of the arched highlight. The central highlight is of etched glass. Beside it are two rounded-arched window openings with double-hung sash windows and moulded concrete sills.
The most distinctive feature of the house is its chimneys, which are both unusual in form and highly decorative. Each has a square red brick base with acroteria at each corner. Above this is a cylindrical chimney stack of tuck pointed Hawthorn brick with a moulded cement rendered base and crown. Moulded cement detailing at the top of the chimney includes a frieze with roundels, a dentilated cornice and projecting acroteria around the top of the chimney.
There are two original chimneys to the northern section of the house, as well as a reproduction at the south end of the 1989 rear extension.
The house is set behind a new but sympathetic timber picket fence and a small front garden. A carport has been built more recently which adopts the materials and details of the house.
Rising damp is evident at the base of the brickwork along the front wall, and the associated salts are deteriorating the tuckpointing. A deciduous creeper is growing over the building including the chimneys, which may be damaging the decorative cement detailing.