Shenton was built in 1890 for the coal, chaff and grain merchant John Shenton Gordon. The house was purchased in 1897 by George Swinburne, the prominent engineer, commercial entrepreneur, politician and member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly. Together with his wife Ethel, George Swinburne was an advocate of technical education in Victoria. Their support enabled the opening of the Eastern Suburbs Technical School in 1908 (later the Swinburne Institute of Technology) and in the 1916 the opening of the first technical school for girls in Australia as a branch of the school. The Swinburne family occupied the house until its sale in 1963 to the Immigration Department for use as an immigration reception centre. Shenton is a two-storey red brick building featuring an asymmetrical front facade, original internal features and garden landscape features created for George Swinburne.
How is it significant?
Shenton is of historic and architectural significance to the State of Victoria
Why is it significant?
Shenton is of historical importance because of its association with George and Ethel Swinburne. It is important in exhibiting the aesthetic characteristics of late nineteenth century house and garden design. It is important in demonstrating social and cultural associations with the Swinburne family who were prominent in Melbourne society and philanthropists of education. It is also important in demonstrating the status and lifestyle sought by nineteenth century families in their residences.
"Hawthorn Heritage Study Place Identification Form. 'Shenton', 41 Kinkora Road, a 2 st red brick with cream arches & string course, timber ver with turned posts, balus & timber fretwork brackets.Buit in 1890 for John Shenton Gordon, coal mechant. Owned c1893 to 1960s by George Swinburne, founder and patron of Swinburne College. Attributed on stylistic grounds to Reed, Smart and Tappin. ML note: Swinburne was a prominent engineer, founder of the Melbourne Hydrauilic Co &c. Age, 1 May 1999, p G17. For auction, 'Shenton', c 1890, 5 entertaining areas, billiards rm, 5 bedrs, study, &c, &c, nearly 1 acre of land, 60.3 x 62.8 m. TS Note: Possible tender notice is ABCN, 21 June 1890, p 1136. Reed, Smart & Tappin. Contract for erection of brick villa, Kinkora Rd."