'Altona' Homestead (Formerly 'Laverton' Homestead) and Logan Reserve
128 Queen Street and 155-173 Esplanade ALTONA, HOBSONS BAY CITY
Statement of Significance
'Altona' Homestead (former 'Laverton'), comprising the homestead constructed in stages between c.1855 and 1909 and the remnant significant trees, at 128 Queen Street and 155-173 Esplanade, AltonaHow is it Significant?
'Altona' (former 'Laverton') is of local historic, social and aesthetic significance to the City of Hobsons Bay.Why is it Significant?
Historically, it is significant as the oldest house in the Altona area and one of the oldest within the Western region. It demonstrates the immediate post-contact pastoralist phase of development and has strong associations with Alfred Langhorne who was one of the first European settlers in this area. It is also significant for its associations with the development of local government as the first home of Altona City Council after it was formed in the mid-1950s until it moved to its new offices in 1963. (AHC criteria A4 and B2)
Socially, it is significant for its strong associations with the Altona community as an important local landmark and as the first council offices at a formative time in the city's development. It is highly valued by the local community. (AHC criterion G1)
Aesthetically, it is significant as an unusual and rare example of an early homestead, which demonstrates its various development phases through an overlaid series of architectural styles. The Edwardian wing is notable for its skilful design, which suggests the involvement of an architect and its integration with the earlier building. Although the once extensive grounds have been lost, the historic setting of the house is enhanced by the mature trees and shrubs in the surrounding reserve, which are believed to be the remnants of the original garden. (AHC criteria E1 and F1)
'Altona' Homestead (Formerly 'Laverton' Homestead) and Logan Reserve - Physical Description 1
The complex consists of the 1850s-60s rubble bluestone wing with a hipped main roof clad with corrugated iron and a rear service courtyard facing north. On the south of this is a large and picturesque brick and stucco Edwardian-era wing which faces the sea. This has two projecting room bays, a gabled porch entry and a linking verandah.
On the east wing is a ribbed brick Edwardian-era chimney set in a base reusing the 1850s basalt. The interior has been renovated in the Edwardian-era and has some notable parts. The close proximity of Queen Street, hard against the north wall of part of the complex, has affected the concept of the house as a former pastoral era homestead but is not a new phenomena, having been put in place with the Altona estate of the 1880s. The car park to the adjoining clubrooms is on the site of one demolished outbuilding while the woolshed site was well to the north.
The homestead is sited within the .. reserve, which comprises the former gardens , with its mature ornamental planting, aids the historical expression of the place. The reserve includes mature exotic trees, which appear to have been part of the homestead garden:
- Four Moreton Bay figs - three centre north in the reserve and one centre
- Five Norfolk Island pines - Two south-east, one centre, two centre-west
- A Kauri pine situated centre north
- A number of Monterey cypress - three centre east, one south-east, and a row of 6 south west
- One Washingtonia palm situated centre-west
There are also a number of lesser shrubs, which may also be remnants of the garden. This group of trees is significant within the Western Region.
A new shelter has been added to the reserve along with reconstruction of pathways. A toilet block (1950s?) is centre-west in the reserve.
'Altona' Homestead (Formerly 'Laverton' Homestead) and Logan Reserve - Integrity
'Altona' Homestead (Formerly 'Laverton' Homestead) and Logan Reserve - Physical Description 2
Contributory part of Altona & Laverton Foreshore Precinct and adjoining the Altona commercial centre.
'Altona' Homestead (Formerly 'Laverton' Homestead) and Logan Reserve - Physical Description 3
Boundary Description:The homestead building and cited trees (Moreton Bay figs -3 centre north in the reserve and one centre; Norfolk Island pines - 2 southeast, one centre, two centre-west, a kauri pine - centre north, Monterey cypress -3 centre east, 1 south-east, row of 6 south west; a Washingtonia sp.' palm - 1 centre west)
'Altona' Homestead (Formerly 'Laverton' Homestead) and Logan Reserve - Historical Australian Themes
Engaging in primary production, Developing sheep and cattle industries, Developing local government authorities
'Altona' Homestead (Formerly 'Laverton' Homestead) and Logan Reserve - Physical Description 4
Alfred Langhorne, Joseph, John and Robert Phelps, William Henry Croker
Heritage Study and Grading
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Author: Hobsons Bay City Council
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