Statement of Significance
What is significant?
The house, formerly known as 'The Elms', at 683 Park Street, Brunswick, constructed c.1886 for William Strong, is significant. The cast iron palisade front fence, pedestrian gate and posts and bluestone plinth is also significant. Non-original alterations and additions to the original house, the modern single storey units at the rear and the new vehicular gates to either side of the original cast iron palisade fence are not significant.
How is it significant?
The house, formerly known as 'The Elms' at 683 Park Street, Brunswick, is of historical and representative significance to the City of Moreland.
Why is it significant?
It is historically significant as a fine example of the substantial villas erected for prominent citizens along Park Street in the nineteenth century, which reflects its prestigious status due to the proximity to Royal Park and Princes Park and the more desirable suburbs of Parkville and Carlton. It is also of historical significance for its association with City of Melbourne councillor and former Mayor of Melbourne and local identity, William Strong (1843-1915). (Criterion A) It is significant as a good and well-detailed example of a freestanding residence in the Victorian Italianate style, which is complemented by an early cast iron palisade front fence with bluestone plinth. Typical of the style, the house is asymmetrical in plan with a canted bay and a M-type hipped roof clad in slate with bracketed eaves and several rendered chimneys with moulded cornices, while the return verandah has cast iron verandah posts with Corinthian capitals and cast-iron frieze and brackets, and there is an applied scalloped detail to the verandah beam. Bluestone steps lead to the entrance doorway, which has sidelights and highlights. The house is notable for its relatively large size and elevated siting on a larger allotment and for details such as the decorative quoining to the wall corners and the three segmental arch double-hung timber sash windows (the side windows having narrower profiles) to the projecting bay, which have cement render hood moulds and imposts and a continuous moulded sill with brackets, while the tripartite window beneath the front verandah has colonettes between the sections and a moulded sill. (Criteria D & E)
HOUSE (THE ELMS) - Physical Description 1
The house at 683 Park Street, Brunswick, is a substantial Victorian Italianate villa, one of a number of houses built along Park Street, on the border of Brunswick and North Carlton overlooking or close to the parklands. Houses along this street are generally larger and more elaborate than what might typically be expected in Brunswick.
The house is sited centrally on a large block and set back behind an original iron palisade fence (currently obscured by hedge) on a bluestone plinth with central entrance gates that is shown on the 1902 MMBW plan. The house is relatively large, being four rooms deep.
Typical of the style, the house is asymmetrical in plan with a canted bay projecting to one side and a M-type hipped roof clad in slate with paired eaves brackets and a moulded stringcourse. Walls to the main facade are rendered with bluestone foundations and have decorative quoining to the corners, and there are several rendered chimneys with moulded cornices. The verandah now has a skillion profile and returns along the western side and meets the projecting hipped bay at the rear. It has cast iron verandah posts with Corinthian capitals and cast-iron frieze and brackets, and there is an applied scalloped detail to the verandah beam. Bluestone steps lead to the entrance doorway, which has sidelights and highlights.
The projecting bay has three segmental arch double-hung timber sash windows (the side windows having narrower profiles) with cement render hood moulds and imposts and a continuous moulded sill with brackets. The tripartite window beneath the front verandah has colonettes between the sections and a moulded sill.
HOUSE (THE ELMS) - Physical Conditions
HOUSE (THE ELMS) - Integrity
The plan of the original section of the house appears to be the same as it appears in the 1902 MMBW plan. Overall, it has good intactness and integrity with relatively minor alterations. The most significant change has been the recent replacement of the verandah roof, which now has a straight skillion profile and is clad in a mixture of zincalume and clear material - real estate photos available online show this originally had an ogee profile (PSP website). Other changes include an air conditioner to one of the windows to the projecting bay, and the new sets of double gates to either side of the original front fence.
There are substantial additions at the rear of the house, and smaller additions on the east and west side; however, these are well set back and are not overly intrusive.
Heritage Study and Grading
Moreland - Moreland Heritage Gaps Study 2017
Author: Context Pty Ltd
Moreland - Moreland City Council: Local Heritage Places Review
Author: Context Pty Ltd
Moreland - Keeping Brunswick's heritage: A Report on the Review of the Brunswick Conservation Study
Author: Context Pty Ltd
COTTAGEVictorian Heritage Register H0594
IRON HOUSEVictorian Heritage Register H0665
CHRIST CHURCHVictorian Heritage Register H0129
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687