What is significant?
The former Police Station complex at 155 Royal Parade, Parkville was constructed in the latter half of 1878 to designs by the Public Works Department of Victoria. The original drawings were prepared by architect Charles Barrett, and assistant draftsman Robert Roberts. The builder is unknown. The police station is a single storey, symmetrical, triple-fronted brick building. The exposed brick elevations are decorated with string courses and an impost course in contrasting brick. It has two gabled projecting wings with paired, rounded headed windows and an enclosed central timber verandah protecting the entrance at the southern end. The slate roof, with wide eaves, continues down over the verandah.
How is it significant?
Parkville Police Station is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Parkville Police Station is historically significant as a rare example of a police station building of the type erected in the 1860s and 1870s. The simple, single storey Italianate styling was more typical in country towns, and this type of police building is very unusual in Melbourne. Most other city police stations from the nineteenth century were later and more substantial buildings constructed to serve established communities.
Parkville Police Station is architecturally significant for the simple symmetrical form, verandah and Italianate detailing characteristic of 1850-1870 public buildings designed by the Public Works Department. Symmetrical double gabled forms with a verandah between was a favourite composition of the Public Works Department and the Parkville police station remains as one of the finest of these simple structures. Despite being built shortly after the dismissal of chief architect William Wardell, the building's utilitarian design and simple form is typical of his tenure and contrasts markedly with later examples.