Sunday 1 January 2012


Inner Melbourne has a large number of  terraced houses, however with the exception of a few suburbs, intact rows have become scarce.   The speculative housing “land boom” in the 1880s, fuelled by the prosperity generated by the Victorian Gold Rush ensured that a large number of terraces were built in Melbourne with ornate and elaborate details in a plethora of different styles collectively referred to as “boom” style.  It is said that Melbourne has more decorative cast iron than any other city in the world and this is largely due to the ubiquity of iron lacework adorning the city’s many Victorian terraced homes.

Multi-storey terraced housing is most prevalent in the Melbourne inner suburbs of Middle Park, Albert Park, East Melbourne, South Melbourne, Carlton, Collingwood, St Kilda, Balaclava, Richmond, South Yarra, Cremorne, North Melbourne, Fitzroy, Port Melbourne, West Melbourne, Footscray, Hawthorn, Abbortsford, Burnley,  Brunswick, Parkville, Flemington, Kensington and Elsternwick.  Freestanding terraces and single storey terraces can be found elsewhere within 10 kilometres of the city centre.

The generic Melbourne style of terrace is distinguishable from other regional variations, often reflecting the popularity of Italianate villa architecture in the city.  Many Victorian era Melbourne terraces are built on foundations of bluestone, a solid and porous local rock quarried from the volcanic plains to the north and west of the city, although it is rare to find terraces completely constructed of the material due to the difficulty to mould it.  The majority of designers of Victorian terraces in Melbourne made an effort to deliberately hide roof elements with the use of a decorative parapet, often combined with the use balustrades above a subtle but clearly defined eave cornice and a frieze which was either plain or decorated with a row of brackets (and sometimes additional patterned bas-relief. Chimneys were often tall, visible above the parapet and elaborately Italianate in style.

This post is part of the Windows and Doors  meme.


  1. ah, some white lace places
    pretty street appeal
    I imagine living in the lower part of the terrace would be quite cool in the summer heat

  2. Well might that be said, but only by a Melburnian! Someone from my neck of the woods would never acknowledge that, no matter its veracity. Nice looking terraces, but ...

    Happy 2012 Nick. May it be full of health, love and laughter.

  3. Wow, I've never seen anything like that - it's so intricate! Really, really beautiful - thanks for sharing!


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