What is significant?
The terrace house at 408 Albert Street was constructed as one of a pair of houses in 1868 to the design of Charles Webb. 408 Albert Street is a three storey brick house with a two storey composite construction timber and cast iron verandah. The facade is divided into three bays. On the ground floor there is strong horizontal banded rustication and the main entrance is set against the party wall. The three windows on the second storey have prominent projecting sills supported by pairs of brackets. The cornice projects across 406 and 408 Albert Street and is also supported by brackets. Above the level of the verandah recessed quoins delineate 408 Albert Street from its neighbouring house at 406 Albert Street. The two storey verandah is divided into three bays of timber arches set on timber posts with Corinthian capitals. The first floor arches are depressed. The friezes, spandrels and balustrades are of decorative cast iron. A cast iron palisade fence with decorative gate posts divides the small front garden from the street.
How is it significant?
The terrace at 408 Albert Street is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The terrace at 408 Albert Street is architecturally significant as an early and intact three storey terrace by noted architect Charles Webb. Webb was a prolific architect of terrace houses in the 1870s and 1880s. 408 Albert Street is significant for the intact composite timber and cast iron construction verandah. The timber columns with Corinthian capitals and the cast iron balustrade panels and friezes are particularly notable. The facade articulation on the second floor and the decoration of the verandah piers are important and anticipate the later so-called boom style architecture in Melbourne.
The terrace at 408 Albert Street is historically significant for its associations with influential members of the Jewish community who played a prominent role in the development of the Eastern Hill precinct.
History of Place:
The first rate book entry for Jacob Harris' pair of three-storeyed brick houses at 406-408 Albert Street is in 1869 when he is listed as owner of two houses each of 12 rooms with outhouses. By 1871 Harris still owns both buildings and his business partner Julius Matthews is listed as occupier of 408 Albert Street. In 1874 Matthews is shown as owner-occupier. Harris and Matthews are listed in the 1874 Melbourne Directory as boot and shoe importers and manufacturers of 18 Elizabeth Street.
(File notes drawn from National Trust file no.3592, October 1978)
The two storey verandah was originally continuous to 406 and 408 Albert Street.