95-133 WELLINGTON PARADE SOUTH and 49-55 CHARLES STREET and 50-62 AGNES STREET EAST MELBOURNE, MELBOURNE CITY
Statement of Significance
What is significant?
Jolimont Square in East Melbourne is bounded by Wellington Parade South, Agnes Street, Palmer Street and Charles Street. The Square, two acres (0.8ha) in extent, was established after the subdivision of the larger Jolimont Estate owned by Charles La Trobe, former Superintendent and Lieutenant Governor of the Port Phillip Colony, later Victoria, from 1839 to 1854.
La Trobe left the colony in 1854. His agents were instructed that before any portions of the Estate were sold or leased, regard should be given to the most judicious and advantageous mode of laying out and subdividing the plot. The Estate, in fact took some years to be sold in full, but Sir James Palmer acquired the first lot, located immediately to the north of La Trobe?s former residence, Jolimont House.
Palmer's plan involved laying out house allotments around a central driveway and garden. He erected five two storey prefabricated houses in the Square by 1859. The last of these houses was removed in the 1960s by the Adult Deaf Society of Victoria, who had acquired the site in 1924 for use as an institute, hostel, secondary college and recreation facilities.
Jolimont Square is enclosed partly on three sides by a bluestone and brick wall. The wall is stepped, reflecting the sloping nature of the site, and has two stepped entrances off Palmer Street. The Square retains an axially arranged central garden now planted as a lawn, running north-south almost the entire depth of the Square. The garden is completely surrounded by a circulating driveway which retains faithfully the layout of the original plan.
Two English Elms (Ulmus procera) are located on the west side of the lawn. It is clear that these survive as evidence of a larger scheme of dense planting in the garden before the 1920s. The large elm by the west bluestone steps complements the others and is an important tree in the landscape, but was clearly planted later.
Other notable later plantings are the two large Horse Chestnuts, (Aesculus hippocastanum), two Sweet Pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum), a fine Chinese Windmill Palm, (Trachycarpus fortunei), large clumps of Clivea nobilis, and the Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) hedge.
Notable buildings in the Square are the two residences flanking the entrance gate and a chapel. 'Mornington' is a two storey residence with basement, built in bi-chromatic brickwork and erected in 1869. 'Redcourt' is a Federation period two storey residence with an impressive interior decorative scheme. The interdenominational chapel was designed by architects Gawler and Drummond for the Adult Deaf Society. It was completed in 1930 in an unusual Romanesque style, although on a much reduced scale from the original design.
Gawler and Drummond designed a comprehensive plan for the development of the Square for the Adult Deaf Society, but only the chapel was constructed. Several other modern buildings have since been added to the site by the society but are not recognised as adding historical significance to the site.
How is it significant?
Jolimont Square is of historic and aesthetic significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Jolimont Square is historically significant as an early subdivision in Melbourne, unique in its concept and layout, and tangentially as the largest extant remnant of La Trobe's Jolimont Estate. The surviving residences, each of architectural interest, are evidence of the subsequently residential use of the Square until the site was occupied by the Adult Deaf Society. Mornington, the 1869 residence, is an early example of well resolved bi-chromatic brickwork, and has unusual curved bays for the ground floor windows. Redcourt provides character of a later period and its form is in part explained by the fact that it was physically linked to one of the prefabricated houses built when the Square was established. The interdenominational chapel, built for the deaf, is architecturally unusual for its styling and its centralised octagonal plan. It is the most notable of the buildings constructed during the ownership of the Adult Deaf Society and contributes to an understanding of the history of the site.
Jolimont Square has aesthetic significance for its landscape layout. The simple scheme for a private residential square with a central landscaped garden and private circulating driveway is unique in Melbourne for this period. The layout predates the much larger and more sophisticated development in St Vincent?s Place, South Melbourne, which was in multiple ownership and fronted public streets. The walled enclosure enhances the sense of a private residential urban square, and is a key component of this development. Whilst no trees have individual significance, the surviving plantings contribute to the landscape significance and are evidence of a conscious design for the Square. The two English Elms (Ulmus procera) on the central garden lawn are of landscape value and frame an important area of open space.
JOLIMONT SQUARE - History
Sir Charles Palmer in September 1857 obtains building permit for land he has purchased from Latrobe. Prefabricated houses completed in December 1858. Palmer sells in 1871? - 1871 auction notice for Palmer’s house in Hawthorn, and ‘5 comodious residences on 2 acres on highest point of Jolimont’. Palmer has links with architect Charles Vickers. (Prof. Miles Lewis: http://fmpro.arbld.unimelb.edu.au/melbmansions, entry for Invergowrie.)
Cess pits. 1870s ban on pits. Public Health Amendment Act 1867 – two years before Mornington was built. Night soil man and 2 pan system, replace soiled pan with a clean one each night. Holes in walls for pan system bricked up after sewering introduced. Cesspits used until late 1860s(?) at Jolimont Square until replaced by night soil service. Cesspits may be located close to location of subsequent closets (marked ‘C’ on MMBW plans). Each of the prefabs had two closets, but Mornington had only one. Check sewerage indicated on MMBW – closets without sewerage may be the original cesspits. Cesspits at Little Lonsdale street were squared bluestone lining to a square pit, with a later barrel dropped in and the cavity filled with rubbish.
JOLIMONT SQUARE - 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. General Conditions: 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. General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan approved by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this declaration prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions. General Conditions: 5. 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.
• the process of gardening and maintenance, mowing, hedge clipping, bedding displays, removal of dead plants, disease and weed control, emergency and safety works to care for existing plants and planting themes
• the replanting of plant species to conserve the landscape character and plant collections and themes
• works undertaken in accordance with an agreed conservation plan or objectives
• repairs, conservation and maintenance to hard landscape elements, roads and paths, drainage and irrigation system
• resurfacing of existing paths and driveways
• management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard; Pruning of amenity trees AS4373
• removal of plants listed as noxious weeds in the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994
• installation, removal or replacement of garden watering and drainage systems
• plant labelling and interpretative signage
• Minor repairs and maintenance which replace like with like.
• Painting of previously painted surfaces in the same colour.
• Removal of extraneous items such as external lighting, air conditioners, pipe work, ducting, flues, wiring, antennae, aerials, fly screens and louvres etc, and making good.
1869 residence (B2)
All works that do not impact on the exterior fabric or external appearance of the place. Stained and coloured glass windows should not be removed without a permit.
Federation villa (B3):Permit exemption declaration X1254, June 2006- Installation of retractable awnings to new residential units (subject to Body Corporate approval)
Painting of previously painted walls and ceilings provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of the original paint or other decorative scheme.
Refurbishment of toilets including removal, installation or replacement of fixtures and piping
Removal and replacement of existing kitchen benches and fixtures including sinks, stoves, ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers etc and associated plumbing and wiring.
Demolition or removal of non-original stud/partition walls, suspended ceilings or non-original wall linings (including plasterboard, laminate and Masonite), bathroom partitions and tiling, sanitary fixtures and fittings, kitchen wall tiling and equipment, lights, built-in cupboards, cubicle partitions, computer and office fitout and the like.
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 of plant within the roof space.
Installation, removal or replacement of carpets and/or flexible floor coverings.
Installation, removal or replacement of curtain tracks, rods and blinds.
Installation, removal or replacement of hooks, nails and other devices for the hanging of mirrors, paintings and other wall mounted art
Installation, removal or replacement of smoke detectors and security alarms.
· Installation of retractable awnings to new residential units( subject to Body Corporate approval)
JOLIMONT SQUARE - Permit Exemption Policy
The purpose of the permit exemptions is to allow works that do not impact on the significance of the place to occur without the need for a permit. Repairs and maintenance that replace like materials with like are permit exempt.
The layout of the square, the bluestone and brick wall on three sides, the central grassed garden area and circulating driveway and landscape planting all contribute to the overall aesthetic, landscape significance of the place.
The 1869 residence has little internal significance, although the stained glass stair window and glass over the entrance door are important.
The Federation period villa has unusual decorative features, particularly to the main hall and ceilings. There are stained and coloured glass windows to the stair window and entrance sidelights. Permit exemptions do not allow for removal or alteration of the decorative scheme.
The interior of the Chapel contains many original elements including stained glass and is not permit exempt.
NEW CHURCH TEMPLEVictorian Heritage Register H0852
TERRACEVictorian Heritage Register H0851
VICTORIAN ARTISTS SOCIETYVictorian Heritage Register H0634
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