Statement of Significance
What is significant?
Braemar is a bluestone and brick two-storey residence built in early 1865 to designs prepared the previous year by the noted architect Leonard Terry. The main facade is symmetrical with a central portico and a full-length verandah supported on slender paired cast iron columns. The restrained detailing to the portico and window openings and touches of the Regency style generated by the stucco finish, fine mouldings, and the plain parapet are all hallmarks of Terry's style. A wrought-iron balustrade surmounts the portico and the upper floor windows are partially screened by a similar wrought-iron balustrade. The ballroom, added in 1886 to the west side of the house, survives although other nineteenth century additions do not. A two storey coach house and stables shown on early plans also no longer survives. Jenkin Collier, noted land boomer, financier and Director of the City of Melbourne Bank owned Braemar from 1872 to 1918, and occupied it until 1891. He and three other directors were tried in 1892 on a charge of issuing false balance sheets. They were defended by Alfred Deakin and other prominent lawyers and were acquitted.
How is it significant?
Braemar is of architectural and historical significance to the state of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Braemar is architecturally significant as a fine example of the domestic work of leading Victorian architect Leonard Terry. Braemar is one of his few domestic buildings to survive. There is a much larger surviving group of banks designed by Terry. Braemar is significant for demonstrating Terry?s commitment to a very conservative manner of classicism. The restrained detailing to the portico, window mouldings and parapet is characteristically Terry's style. The later ballroom is more elaborately decorated and is in contrast to the rest of the house. Braemar, one of the early mansions in East Melbourne, can still be clearly understood in terms of the 1864 plan and layout.
Braemar is historically significant for its association with Jenkin Collier who owned the building from 1872 to 1918. Collier achieved notoriety as a so-called land boomer who was implicated in banking fraud in the economic depression of the early 1890s. The development of East Melbourne did not occur until the late 1850s and Braemar survives as an early example of the larger mansions built by the wealthy who were able to purchase the land when it was finally alienated by the Crown.
BRAEMAR - HistoryHISTORY:
The Argus of 28 December 1864 carried a tender notice for a house in George Street, East Melbourne, to be constructed with bluestone walls. (Identified by Bruce Trethowan as being Braemar, quoted in Miles Lewis, Melbourne Mansions Database, http://fmpro.arbld.unimelb.edu.au/melbmansions) Braemar was built for William Bowen, a chemist in Collins Street. He lived there until 1872. The 1865 La Trobe Ward rate book describes a bluestone house in the course of construction. The original block of land, now subdivided to the rear, was 66’ x 132’, (20.3m x 40.6m). The 1866 rate book mentions ten rooms and a coach house. In 1872 Braemar was bought by Jenkin Collier, a businessman and land speculator. Collier extended the house in 1877. (Burchett Index, Notice of intent to build No.7154. Also, C Kellaway, National Trust research report no. 191, December 1975, passim) . The builder was W Lawrence but the architect was unknown. Another three rooms were added in 1885-6. Again the architect is not known, but the builder was Murray & Co., a local building firm in East Melbourne. One of these three new rooms was the ballroom. In the 1890s Collier moved to his Toorak mansion Werndrew and let Braemar to Dr Andrew Shields, a government health officer. In 1899 it is listed as 178 George Street for the first time. There are a number of different tenants between 1901 and 1918, before it was sold by Collier to Henry Freeman . (C Kellaway, National Trust research report, December 1975). Subsequent owners were: F Henry Patterson (1924); Mary Rebecca Bulivant (1940); Mary Maude Lacey (1949); Mrs Eileen Hurley (1958). In the rate books of the 1960s Braemar is described as an apartment house, which was a common use for large mansions in East Melbourne at that time. In 1970 it was bought by Handelsman Nominees P/L, of 183 Flinders Lane. In 1981 Handelsman subdivided the original plot to create three titles, and restored the room plan of Braemar to something close to that of the late nineteenth century. They then erected two townhouses at the rear of Braemar. This entailed alterations to the house including demolition of the two storey brick rear extension. The owners argued at the time that the extension was a late nineteenth century addition. The rear wall of this extension was retained to form the rear wall of the new extension. The coach house, shown on the MMBW plan of circa 1896, was also demolished at this time.
There was little development of East Melbourne before 1852 as the area remained reserved by the government. In 1848 Bishop Perry chose the area for his Anglican Bishop's Palace, built between 1848 and 1853 as Bishopscourt, with early twentieth century additions overlooking the Fitzroy Gardens. The first public land sales in East Melbourne took place in June 1852, when 20 allotments were sold off. Between 1852 and 1870 a total of 299 crown allotments were sold off. (Ashton and Wilson, East Melbourne Conservation Study, 1975) Development took off in the late 1850s after the gold rush had subsided. Many terraces were built speculatively for rental and lodging. The residential area known as Yarra Park was bounded by Wellington Parade, Vale Street and Punt Road and was the site of the original police barracks. It was subdivided in the 1880s. After the Second World War East Melbourne became a popular area for boarding houses, and large mansions were regularly reordered by landlords to accommodate as many bedrooms as possible.
Leonard Terry. Terry was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire in England in 1825 and arrived in Melbourne in 1853. He worked briefly for architect Charles Laing until Laing’s death in 1857. In 1860 Terry became diocesan architect for the Church of England in Melbourne. Much of his early work was bluestone warehouses, and bluestone remained a favourite material throughout Terry’s career, especially for his church designs. Terry is most famous for his series of about 50 banks throughout Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia, all similarly designed in a restrained classical style drawing on the palazzi of Florence and Rome and the Renaissance Revival style in Britain popularised by Charles Barry. Terry’s most explicit use of the Renaissance Revival style was the Melbourne Club, Collins Street in 1858. In 1874 Ballarat architect Percy Oakden joined Terry as a junior partner and the firm’s work expanded to schools and non-conformist churches. In 1879 Terry was supervising architect to the construction of St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, designed by English architect William Butterfield. Butterfield never visited Australia but during construction Terry visited the architect in England. (Philip Goad, Melbourne Architecture, p.241)
Associated People: William Bowen, for whom Braemar was built in 1865. Bowen migrated to Melbourne from England in 1853. He became a leading manufacturer and retailer of pharmaceuticals, operating from Collins Street premises. (Research notes by the East Melbourne Group, 1976.)
Jenkin Collier bought Braemar in 1872. In that year he is listed in directories as Jenkin Collier of Collier, Barry and Co, Brunswick. In 1880 Collier is listed as chairman of directors of Deniliquin and Moama Railway Co., New South Wales. Additionally he is listed as director of William McCulloch and Co. Ltd, East Melbourne. Most importantly, Collier was a director of the City Bank, Melbourne. That bank was described in glowing terms in 1888: it was… “incorporated in 1864 and has made rapid progress of late. It enjoys a high degree of prosperity, its figures comparing favourably with those of institutions which have been established for a much longer period. The directors’ and shareholders’ list includes the names of well-known and influential men, whose presence and support ought to give full assurance to the depositors of the bank. The steady growth of the reserve funds show that the business of the bank is conducted with prudence, and stands on a firm basis.” (Alexander Sutherland, Melbourne and Its Metropolis, Vol. IIB, p.543) However, it was subsequently shown that the bank had over-lent with little or no security. Collier and three other directors were prosecuted for filing false balance sheets in 1892 and 1893. It was alleged that 45,000 pounds was paid in dividends when the bank was in fact insolvent. A powerful group of barristers including Alfred Deakin appeared for the defence. The prosecution proved without difficulty that the balance sheets were indeed false and misleading but it was more difficult to prove the concurrence of the directors to the fraud. All the blame was shouldered by the deceased manger of the bank, Colin Longmuir. The jury foreman, anticipating that the directors were successfully absolving themselves of any blame, attempted to add a rider accusing them of negligence in their duties. He was overruled by Mr Justice Holroyd. The Age reported the following day, “Clearly the public have little or no protection against the most palpable frauds.” Collier owned Braemar until 1918 although he did not live there from 1891. At his death in 1921 Collier’s estate was valued at £1.3 million.
BRAEMAR - Assessment Against Criteria
a. The historical importance, association with or relationship to Victoria's history of the place or object
Braemar is associated with Jenkin Collier, owner of the building between 1872 and 1901. Collier was a successful businessman and 'land-boomer' who later stood trial for fraud as a director of a bank involved in land speculation.
b. The importance of a place or object in demonstrating rarity or uniqueness
Braemar is unusual as a surviving example of the residential work of architect Leonard Terry.
c. The place or object's potential to educate, illustrate or provide further scientific investigation in relation to Victoria's cultural heritage
d. The importance of a place or object in exhibiting the principal characteristics or the representative nature of a place or object as part of a class or type of places or objects
Braemar is an intact example of early residential development in East Melbourne. The original design and layout can still be clearly recognised.
e. The importance of the place or object in exhibiting good design or aesthetic characteristics and/or in exhibiting a richness, diversity or unusual integration of features
Architect Leonard Terry's design for Braemar is consistent with the restrained classical style particularly evident in his wider body of bank designs.
f. The importance of the place or object in demonstrating or being associated with scientific or technical innovations or achievements
g.The importance of the place or object in demonstrating social or cultural associations
BRAEMAR - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Conditions:
1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object.
2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of alterations that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such alteration shall cease and the Executive Director shall be notified as soon as possible.
3. If there is a conservation policy and plan approved by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it.
4. Nothing in this declaration prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.
Nothing in this declaration exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authority where applicable.
* Minor repairs and maintenance which replace like with like.
* Removal of extraneous items such as air conditioners, pipe work, ducting, wiring, signage, antennae, aerials etc, and making good.
* Installation or repair of damp-proofing by either injection method or grouted pocket method.
* Painting of previously painted walls and ceilings provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of the original paint or other decorative scheme.
* Removal of paint from originally unpainted or oiled joinery, doors, architraves, skirtings and decorative strapping.
* Installation, removal or replacement of carpets and/or flexible floor coverings.
* Installation, removal or replacement of curtain track, rods, blinds and other window dressings.
* Installation, removal or replacement of hooks, nails and other devices for the hanging of mirrors, paintings and other wall mounted artworks.
* Refurbishment of bathrooms, toilets and or en suites including removal, installation or replacement of sanitary fixtures and associated piping, mirrors, wall and floor coverings.
* Installation, removal or replacement of kitchen benches and fixtures including sinks, stoves, ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers etc and associated plumbing and wiring.
* Installation, removal or replacement of ducted, hydronic or concealed radiant type heating provided that the installation does not damage existing skirtings and architraves and provided that the location of the heating unit is concealed from view.
* Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring provided that all new wiring is fully concealed and any original light switches, pull cords, push buttons or power outlets are retained in-situ. Note: if wiring original to the place was carried in timber conduits then the conduits should remain in-situ.
* Installation, removal or replacement of bulk insulation in the roof space.
* Installation, removal or replacement of smoke detectors.
* Installation, removal or replacement of security locks to doors and windows.
BRAEMAR - Permit Exemption PolicyThe purpose of the permit exemptions is to allow works that do not impact on the significance of the place to take place without the need for a permit. Braemar is an essentially intact mid-1860s mansion, retaining a high degree of integrity in layout and materials. The hierarchy of the original internal space can still be clearly understood. Structural internal alterations, including changes to walls, ceilings, openings and fireplaces will require a permit. Evidence of the decorative scheme – paint finishes and wallpapers - has been lost, although the dado appears original. Internal painting and wallpapering are permit exempt. Installation of security grilles and bars will require a permit.
NEW CHURCH TEMPLEVictorian Heritage Register H0852
TERRACEVictorian Heritage Register H0851
VICTORIAN ARTISTS SOCIETYVictorian Heritage Register H0634
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687