Statement of Significance
What is Significant?
The American Cottage was erected c.1885-86 by a local builder, Shargo for the owners Abraham Tyler Thomson, originally from the West Coast, America and his Canadian born wife. The house was owned by the Thomsons until 1920. It is believed to have been subdivided internally in the 1940s, a door on the upper level of the north facade is evidence of the separate entry to the upper accommodation. In overall form the cottage is closely related to early American examples of the Carpenter Gothic idiom of the late nineteenth century and it is derivative in expression of American weatherboard house traditions. Clad in weatherboard, the house is a one storey timber framed attic house. The main facade is symmetrical about the centre-front gable, the upper level of which opens onto a rectangular balcony which projects to form a porch over the front door directly below. The internal joinery detailing is generally well preserved. The general layout of the ground and first floor appear to be relatively original. Some alterations have occurred to the rear of the building where utilities and other rooms have been added. The lounge room has the most original finishes. How is it Significant?
How is it significant?
The American Cottage is of architectural significance to the State of Victoria.Why is it Significant?
Why is it significant?
The American Cottage is architecturally significant as an example of American influence in an Australian setting. It is a rare example in Victoria of the direct translation of the American timber house traditions to the Australian suburb context and it is notable for the finely executed barge boards and overall romantic picturesque qualities of the design.
[Online Data Upgrade Project 2001]
THE AMERICAN COTTAGE - HistoryREGISTER OF THE NATIONAL ESTATE - CITATION
THE AMERICAN COTTAGE AT 21 STATION STREET MORELAND WAS ERECTED C 1885-90 FOR TYLER JOHNSON (?) ON A SITE WITHIN THE PIGDON'S PADDOCK SUBDIVISION. THE SINGLE STOREY TIMBER FRAMED ATTIC HOUSE IS AN ECLECTIC ARCHITECTURAL COMPOSITION OF GOTHIC FORMS AND MOTIFS COMBINED WITH ITALIANATE ENFRAMED WINDOWS AND DOORS IN A HIGHLY DERIVATIVE EXPRESSION OF LATE 19TH CENTURY AMERICAN WEATHERBOARD TRADITIONS. 'AMERICAN COTTAGE' REMAINS VIRTUALLY UNDOCUMENTED AND SUGGESTIONS AS TO AMERICAN DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE ARE TENUOUS AND UNVALIDATED. THE TIMBER HOUSE IS A RARE EXAMPLE IN VICTORIA OF THE DIRECT TRANSLATION OF THE AMERICAN TIMBER HOUSE TRADITIONS TO THE AUSTRALIAN SUBURBAN CONTEXT AND IS NOTABLE FOR THE FINELY EXECUTED BARGE BOARDS AND OVERALL ROMANTIC PICTURESQUE QUALITIES OF THE DESIGN. 'AMERICAN COTTAGE', ORIGINALLY PAINTED A LIGHT STONE COLOUR WITH CONTRASTING COLOUR ENHANCEMENT AND COMPLETE WITH ORNATE IRON FENCE HAS NOW BEEN PAINTED WHITE. THE ATTIC HOUSE IS THOROUGHLY MAINTAINED, AND EXCEPTING THE REDECORATION, REMAINS INTACT. OF STATE/TERRITORY SIGNIFICANCE.
THE AMERICAN COTTAGE - Permit ExemptionsRECOMMENDED PERMIT EXEMPTIONS (Online Data Upgrade Project 2001. Notional policy not yet submitted to Heritage Council) Exterior It is recommended that the following external works be exempt from the need for a permit: Exterior painting of the rear addition and outbuildings/ carports Repairs and maintenance which replace like with like Repainting all previously painted surfaces in the same colour scheme and paint type Removal of extraneous items such as pipework, ducting, wiring, antennae, aerials etc. and making good Maintenance of power or pipelines or other public services located on the property where this involves no alteration to the fabric of the place Cleaning out gutters, drainage systems and other water storage and drainage areas Interior It is recommended that the following internal works be exempt from the need for a permit: Interior painting/wall papering to walls and ceilings, fitted floor finishes based on evidence discovered by physical and photographic research provided that the preparation work for the works does not remove evidence of the building’s original paint or decorative scheme or floor finish. Removal of paint from originally unpainted or oiled joinery doors, architraves, skirtings and decorative strapping. Installation, removal or replacement of curtain track, rods, blinds, and other window dressings. Installation, removal or replacement of hooks, nails and other devices for hanging of mirrors, paintings and other wall mounted artworks. Alterations to the bathroom, laundry and kitchen to the extent of new fittings and surfaces which are required to meet health and safety regulations Installation of ducted, hydronic or concealed radiant type heating provided that the installation does not damage existing skirtings and architraves and provided that the heating unit is inconspicuously located Removal, replacement or installation of smoke detectors, insulation, electrical wiring provided that all new wiring is concealed and all original light switches or power outlets and timber conduits (if still existing) are retained in situ. General 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. General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works 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 works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component. General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and planall works shall be in accordance with it. Note:A Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Planprovides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan. General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions. General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable. Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works must submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.
THE AMERICAN COTTAGE - Permit Exemption Policy