A 5.7 acre site, part of Healy's estate, off David Street, Preston was acquired by the Housing Commission of Victoria in 1939 or early 1940. The HCV extended Sinnott Street to curve southwards to join David Street and Walker Avenue was created as a cul-de-sac. By mid 1940, 32 of the planned 38 brick housing units - comprising duplexes or 'double dwellings' - had been completed. The remaining six units were completed soon after. The duplexes in the estate are of standard design with minor variations in materials and detailing. They are constructed of plain pressed red , clinker or cream bricks set on concrete or rendered bases with terracotta gabled roofs and flat roofed front porches supported by tubular steel posts. Original windows are timber double hung sash arranged singly or in pairs and there are brick chimneys, placed centrally in the roof or along the rear elevation. The corner houses have corbelled gable end detailing. The duplexes are sited parallel to the street behind a garden setback. Front fences are low or non-existent.
The precinct comprises the properties at 20-26 David Street, 1-13 & 2-14 Sinnot Street and 1-15 & 2-16 Walker Street. All the duplexes are contributory.
How is it significant?
The HCV David Street Estate is of local historic, architectural and aesthetic significance to Darebin City.
Why is it significant?
Historically, the HCV David Street Estate is significant for its associations with the Housing Commission of Victoria and as one of the first public housing estates developed in Victoria. It provides evidence of the first generation of estates to be developed by the Housing Commission of Victoria to house residents displaced by the 'slum clearance' activities of the HCV in the inner suburbs of Melbourne during the inter-war period and of the importance of Darebin as an area where almost half of the houses built by the Commission were constructed in the period before 1940.. It is one of a small number of estates to be commenced prior to 1940 when World War II led to a cessation of building activity by the HCV until the mid-1940s. (AHC criteria A.4, D.2, H.1)
The HCV David Street Estate is of architectural significance as a representative example of an early Housing Commission of Victoria housing estate. The houses demonstrate the early development of the design philosophy of the HCV, and in particular how materials and detailing were used to create visual interest. The layout of the estate including the use of a court, and the curved extension to Sinnot Street demonstrate how the Commission sought to apply Garden City principles even on small estates. (AHC criterion D.2)
The HCV David Street Estate is aesthetically significant as an example of Garden City planning. The consistent form and siting of the houses with front garden setbacks and low front and side fences allows the entire streetscape to be seen as a single entity. (AHC criterion E.1)
Levels of significance
Primary - The houses to the extent of the 1940 fabric