House Prepared by: Context Pty Ltd Address: 1257 Burke Road, Kew




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House

Prepared by: Context Pty Ltd






Address: 1257 Burke Road, Kew

Name: House

Survey Date: 16 June 2015

Place Type: Residential

Architect:

Grading: Significant

Builder:

Extent of Overlay: To title boundaries

Construction Date: c1939



Historical Context

The block bounded by Burke Road, Cotham Road, Bradford Avenue and Stoke Avenue was home to a number of Victorian and Federation mansions, none of which survive today. Their grounds began to be subdivided in the early 20th century period and there were many new houses along these roads, and in the new cul-de-sac Daracombe Avenue, created from the grounds of ‘Daracombe’ house (at what is now nos. 4-5) by the mid-1920s. In 1926 the Edwardian mansion at what is now 11 Tregarron Avenue still retained extensive grounds, comprising most of what it now Tregarron Avenue. Another mansion, at the south-west corner of Burke Road and Stoke Avenue, had grounds stretching down to what is now 1257 Burke Road (MMBW Detail Plan No. 1608, 1926).




History

Jessie Anton, a widow of ‘Ravenswood’, Lower Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe, purchased the land that is now 1257 Burke Road in November 1938 (LV: V6254 F670). The mansion at the corner of Stoke Avenue had belonged to a Charles Bedggood. After his death in 1936, his heirs began to subdivide the land, creating 2 Tregarron Avenue, 1257 and 1259 Burke Road, and leaving the large corner block (now a unit development, 1-7 Regency Grove).


Jessie Anton’s late husband was Charles Theodore Anton, a company director (Argus, 14 Nov. 1940:4; PROV). He purchased ‘Ravenswood’ (VHR H199), 40 Beauview Parade, in 1928, and gradually subdivided its grounds during the 1930s. It is a Renaissance Revival mansion of 1891, built for financier Robert William Kennedy. After his death on 24 July 1938, the property was sold to the Hamilton family (Butler, 1985).
The present house at 1257 Burke Road was built shortly after the 1938 purchase, and by 1941, Mrs Jessie Anton was listed as its resident (S&McD 1942).
The Anton family was involved in real estate and construction. Charles Theodore Anton’s company - CT Anton and Co. - was a member of the Real Estate and Stock Institute (Argus, 20 Jan. 1939:9), and frequently advertised properties for sale in the newspaper. Charles and Jessie’s son, Edwin Vaughan Anton, was a builder with the same business address as CT Anton and Co - 399 Lt Collins Street (Argus, 6 Sept. 1941:6). In March 1941, Jessie Anton joined her builder son Edwin as joint company directors in what was now called Anton Construction Company Pty Ltd (Argus, 28 March 1941:11). The designer and/or builder of 1257 Burke Road has not been identified, but considering Mrs Anton’s close relationship with her son, Edwin Anton, his company may have been the builder.
Mrs Anton retained ownership of the property until 1958, selling to Alexander Scovell, John Reid and John Cottman. In 1980 they sold to the Uniting Church, after which the house served as the manse to the Frank Patton Memorial Uniting Church across the road until around 2012 (LV: V6254 F670).
Description & Integrity

The house is situated on the north-west corner of Burke Road and Tregarron Avenue, in a somewhat elevated position above Burke Road. The large front yard is surrounded by a low clinker brick fence with an entrance at the corner which retains the original mild steel pedestrian gate with a sunburst motif. The narrow curved brick path to the front steps also survives, as do curved garden beds edged with volcanic rocks.


The house is a triple-fronted Streamlined Moderne house. The walls are masonry, with manganese bricks to the plinth, and half-sized manganese bricks in a wide band the height of the windows, emphasising its horizontal lines. Above and below this band of bricks is smooth render, with the original cream colour visible where paint is peeling.
The roof is a tiled hip in a complex form to follow the two setback of the main façade, stepping back to the Tregardon Avenue side. A square rendered chimney with a vertical design in manganese bricks is a major feature of the façade. It is used as a sculptural piece, with a wide external chimney breast below the eaves line, with a small projection above corbelled bricks indicating the slender width of the chimney shaft above. Above the roofline, the slender chimney is buttressed by a sloping shoulder. There is a second chimney with the same decorative shaft on the Tregarron Avenue side.
In keeping with the Streamlined Moderne style, the house employs curves wherever possible. The projecting room on the north side of the façade has curved corners, and beside it is a quarter-circle concrete porch hood. There are two setbacks on southern half of the façade, each marked with a curved parapet that interrupts the roof eaves. Each has a fixed curved glass window below the parapet, flanked by sash windows with the upper panes etched with a design of birds flying in rays of sunshine. This same design is also used for all the other sash windows of the Burke Road and Tregarron Avenue elevations.
In addition to its sculptural qualities and long, expressive Burke Road façade, the house is rich with original details. Apart from the etched window panes, there is a curved planter box below the projecting room, a front porch, reached by a long flight of manganese brick steps, with a mild-steel balustrade with a chevron design, an original metal screen door with an elegant looped frame design, and the original front door with three narrow lights stepping downward.
At the rear of the Tregarron Avenue elevation is the original attached garage, with a parapeted front. The garage door is modern.
Apart from the new garage door, no external alterations were noted from the public domain.
Comparative Analysis

The Streamlined Moderne style was popular in the USA in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and first appeared in Australia around 1930. It was inspired by the streamlined aesthetic of modern ocean liners, cars and trains, with sleek curved lines and a horizontality that suggested movement. The Australian version also shows influence of the European modernists of the 1920s, such as Eric Mendelssohn and Willem Dudok. One of the early examples of a house in this style is Harry Norris’ ‘Burnham Beeches’ of 1933 (inspired by a trip to America), but most examples in the first half of the 1930s were commercial buildings. One of the first such examples in Melbourne was ‘Yule House’ by Oakley & Parkes of 1932.


Moderne buildings have clean lines and a strong horizontal emphasis in their massing and details, which is often balanced by a vertical element (for example, a stairwell or large chimney). The horizontal lines were emphasised by ribbon windows (particularly in commercial buildings), incised horizontal ‘speedlines’ or banding of contrasting materials, and parapets concealing the vertical elements of the roof. Most Australian Moderne houses followed the English (instead of Continental) model and retained a trusty hip roof, though sometimes partially concealed by a parapet in a nod to the avant-garde. The curves were introduced to walls and the corner windows that were a popular expression of the use of steel framing, as well as in cantilevered porch hoods. The triple-fronted Streamlined Moderne houses that were so fashionable in the late 1930s were the precursor to the cream brick ‘Waterfall’ houses that so dominated Australian suburbs in the 1950s.
The earlier houses in this style often have light-coloured rendered walls with contrasting bands of manganese (dark brown) or tapestry (textured cream and brown) bricks. In the late 1930s and 1940s cream brick on their own became a popular choice.
There are a number of Streamlined Moderne houses on the Boroondara Heritage Overlay, a number of which share traits with 1257 Burke Road:
HO55 27-27A Havelock Road, Hawthorn East – one of a group of eight two-storey flats buildings of 1940. This one has rendered walls with bands of manganese bricks around the corner steel windows and at the top of the parapet, giving it a very similar palette of materials to 1257 Burke Road. The massing is a mix of rectilinear lines with one curve corner and curved concrete balconies with cantilevered hoods above them.
HO313 28 Holroyd Street, Kew – a house on a corner site of 1943-44. This house is similar to 1257 Burke Road in its triple-fronted, stepped composition. The later date of this house is expressed in the palette of materials: predominantly cream brick with a plinth of manganese brick and salmon bricks between the windows; and in the use of steel ribbon windows, with the hip roof largely concealed behind a parapet.
HO189 15 Walbundry Avenue, Balwyn North of 1936 and HO33 27 Constance Street, Hawthorn East of 1938 are near identical houses (apart from their siting). 15 Walbundry is documented as the work of architect RM & MH King. In both cases the hip roof is half hidden by a curved parapet, demonstrating a transition to the more austere examples of the 1940s.
The later examples have curved corners and continuous parapets hiding the roof, but most lack the decorative interplay of materials and details seen in the interwar examples. The include HO370 2 Beatrice Street, Glen Iris of 1941 and HO347 89 Studley Park Road, Kew of 1940-41.
To conclude, the house at 1257 Burke Road is a classic example of a Streamlined Moderne house of the 1930s, with a curved triple-front design like that of 28 Holroyd Street, but with more finely grained decorative detail and materiality typical of the 1930s. Its intactness, including that of its setting, is equal to or greater than that of all the comparative examples.
Assessment Against Criteria
Criteria referred to in Practice Note 1: Applying the Heritage Overlay, Department of Planning and Community Development, September 2012, modified for the local context.
CRITERION A: Importance to the course, or pattern, of the City of Boroondara's cultural or natural history (historical significance).
NA
CRITERION B: Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of the City of Boroondara's cultural or natural history (rarity).
NA
CRITERION C: Potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of the City of Boroondara's cultural or natural history (research potential).
NA
CRITERION D: Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural or natural places or environments (representativeness).
The house at 1257 Burke Street in its setting is a representative and highly intact example of a substantial Streamlined Moderne house. This triple-fronted house of the late 1930s demonstrates the major characteristics of the style including clean, horizontal lines and smooth curves to the walls, windows and cantilevered porch hood, and the use of parapets and a stepped chimney to break-up the hipped roofline. It is enhanced by a low brick fence with a sunburst-patterned steel gate at the corner (echoed in the etched windows), curved concrete path to the front steps, curved rock garden bed edging, and an attached garage at the rear of the Tregarron Avenue elevation.
CRITERION E: Importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics (aesthetic significance).
The house is distinguished by a handsome façade, made more prominent by its elevated corner site, which incorporates a range of cladding materials to provide strong horizontal lines as well as fine-grained visual interest. Other details of note are the sculptural front chimney, the etched-glass windows, the chevron-pattern steel balustrade, and the delicate looped design of the metal screen door.
CRITERION F: Importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period (technical significance).
NA
CRITERION G: Strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons. This includes the significance of a place to Indigenous peoples as part of their continuing and developing cultural traditions (social significance).
NA
CRITERION H: Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in the City of Boroondara's history (associative significance).
NA

Statement of Significance
What is Significant?

The house and its setting at 1257 Burke Road, Kew, is significant. The house was built c1939 for Jessie Anton, mother of builder Edwin Anton, and co-director with him in Anton Construction Company. It is a triple-fronted brick house with walls finished in alternating bands of manganese brick at the base, then smooth render (originally limewashed in cream) around a central band of half-sized manganese bricks. The roof is a tiled hip in a complex form to follow the two setback of the main façade, stepping back to the Tregarron Avenue side. At each curved step back, the roof is penetrated by a curved parapet that sits above a curved window. A square rendered chimney with a vertical design in manganese bricks is a major sculptural feature of the façade.


The house and its setting are highly intact, with all but the garage door original.
How is it significant?

1257 Burke Road, Kew, is of local architectural and aesthetic significance to the City of Boroondara.


Why is it significant?

The house at 1257 Burke Street in its setting is a representative and highly intact example of a substantial Streamlined Moderne house. It demonstrates the major characteristics of the style including clean, horizontal lines and smooth curves to the walls, windows and cantilevered porch hood, and the use of parapets and a stepped chimney to break-up the hipped roofline. It is enhanced by a low brick fence with a sunburst-patterned steel gate at the corner (echoed in the etched windows), curved concrete path to the front steps, curved rock garden bed edging, and an attached garage at the rear of the Tregarron Avenue elevation. (Criterion D)


The house is distinguished by a handsome façade, made more prominent by its elevated corner site, which incorporates a range of cladding materials to provide strong horizontal lines as well as fine-grained visual interest. Other details of note are the sculptural front chimney, the etched-glass windows, the chevron-pattern steel balustrade, and the delicate looped design of the metal screen door.
Grading and Recommendations
Recommended for inclusion in the Schedule to the Heritage Overlay of the Boroondara Planning Scheme as an Individually Significant place.
Recommendations for the Schedule to the Heritage Overlay (Clause 43.01) in the Boroondara Planning Scheme:


External Paint Colours

Is a permit required to paint an already painted surface?

No

Internal Alteration Controls

Is a permit required for internal alterations?

No

Tree Controls

Is a permit required to remove a tree?

No

Victorian Heritage Register

Is the place included on the Victorian Heritage Register?

No

Incorporated Plan

Does an Incorporated Plan apply to the site?

No

Outbuildings and fences exemptions

Are there outbuildings and fences which are not exempt from notice and review?

No

Prohibited uses may be permitted

Can a permit be granted to use the place for a use which would otherwise be prohibited?

No

Aboriginal Heritage Place

Is the place an Aboriginal heritage place which is subject to the requirements of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006?

No


Identified By

Pru Sanderson Design Pty Ltd, Kew Urban Conservation Study, 1988.


References

Argus [Melbourne], as cited.

G Butler, Heidelberg Conservation Study, 1985.

LV: Land Victoria title certificates, as cited.

MMBW: Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works plans, as cited.



PROV: Index to Wills, Probate and Administration Records, 1841-2009.

S&McD: Sands & McDougall’s street directories, as cited.


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