Evolving Port

Port Melbourne and Fishermans Bend change. Houses are changed or demolished and new forms of housing take their place. Port Houses records some of these changes.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Moving house - Port Houses moves to Port Places

84 Raglan St, Port Melbourne
Port Houses has moved to a new blog Port Places.

Port Places will still keep an eye on housing in Port Melbourne but it will also explore just a little further afield - into Montague, Fishermans Bend and Westgate Park. Hope you will journey to Port Places.
Janet Bolitho
27 October 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sustainable Houses in Port Melbourne

This Port Melbourne house - with solar panels, water capture, locally indigenous garden, lemon tree, edible garden out the back, and a fence that encourages neighbourly interaction - shows how attractively such features can be incorporated.
Running Postman Kennedia Prostrata
Some people say that sustainability is an over used word that has lost its meaning. The ten principles of One Planet Living offer an accessible framework for sustainable living that incorporates the social and cultural dimensions of life. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

74 Nott St, Port Melbourne

April 2016

April 2016

Approaching completion

2 February 2014


28 August 2013


Houses can be like ill people. They go downhill, and then one day, they're gone.

Every time I walked past this house, it looked more neglected, the garden more overgrown. It had a very nice japonica in the front garden. And then one day, the house had gone.

74 Nott St in 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

143 Farrell St, Port Melbourne

8 September 2013

'It was a delight to know you'

Marking the life of George Jeffreys (1934 to 20 July 2013) born and died in this small area of Port Melbourne.

George loved classical music, his bike and sitting in the sun in the front yard of his home.

143 Farrell St

Monday, August 5, 2013

Doesn't the sun shine on postcode 3207?

5 August 2013
Over 1 million Australian homes now have roof top solar systems installed, according to the Climate Commission's recent report: The Critical Decade - Australia's Future - Solar EnergyBy the end of June 2013, 96 of those were installed in Port Melbourne, generating 225.752 kw, according to a report by postcode on the Clean Energy Regulator's websiteThat doesn't seem very many or very much for a population of 14,508. Port Melbourne has 8,056 dwellings of which 10% are separate house dwellings (2011 census) This suggests we could be doing more in Port to increase the uptake of solar panels. By way of contrast, the great infographics on the Commission's website highlight that Werribee has the highest uptake of solar hot water systems of any postcode.
This Port family reports: 
'We have a 12 panel 3kW system. It came on line in October 2012 and to date we have generated 2152 kWh according to our smart meter! In our last billing period (92 days) we generated 386 kWh and received $119.80 for our solar contribution.'

There are some fantastic resources to assist - suggest the Clean Energy Council as one.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Do good fences make good neighbour(hood)s? 1

4 August 2013
A feature in Domain (3/8) on front fences prompts a post on front fences in Port Melbourne. In a heritage overlay area, a planning permit is required for a front fence. Some people think that is too onerous. Port Phillip Council provides guidelines for fences in heritage overlay areas to assist. There's a lot to consider in a front fence.
The fence marks the line between private property and the street - the public domain. It can do that in a 'keep out' kind of way, or in a way that creates more of a dialogue between the house and the street.
'Heritage overlay' may suggest picket fences. In one block, I saw some fine contemporary fences and a harsh interpretation of the guidelines. 
contemporary picket fence

harsh and horizontal - fits the house but not the neighbouring houses
pleasing, well suited to the house
Your thoughts?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

25 Barak Road, Port Melbourne

3 March 2018

The house was sold for $1,955,000 on 3 March 2018.

In March 2000, it sold for $327,000. (source: realestate.com.au)

Here is Marshall White's video.

August 2017

The re-built 'brick by brick' house at 25 Barak Road was passed in at auction for $1.9 million. The property impressed 'with its lavish detail' according to real estate agent Marshall White.

25 Barak Rd in 2013

History of the illegal demolition of 25 Barak Road

In the early morning of June 29th, 2008 the house at 25 Barak Road, Port Melbourne was illegally demolished. In a highly planned operation, heavy equipment was brought to the site early. A chain saw cut through the roof, and then the front wall was knocked in. Neighbours remonstrated with the wreckers. No demolition or planning permits had been obtained. The house is covered by a Heritage Overlay in recognition of the Fishermans Bend estate being the first constructed by the newly formed Housing Commission of Victoria. 

25 Barak Rd in 2012

July 2008
Port Phillip Council took the matter to court. For some time until the case was heard, the site was fenced off. The owner was prosecuted. The magistrate, Phillip Goldberg, said 'he could not impose the maximum fines of $150,000 because of sentencing discounts for his guilty pleas and lack of prior convictions "however enticing it might be". The court Hodo Zeqaj was convicted and fined $45,000 with $7500 costs.' (The Age, 13 May 2009)

The decision required that original material be retained on site to be incorporated into the reconstruction of the front facade of the house.

A planning permit for the house was finally issued by VCAT in August 2009. The permit was to

'Retrospectively approve the partial demolition of an existing dwelling and the construction of a new ground and first floor alterations and additions including repairing and restoring the original front facade and roof of the dwelling on the site'.

Prior to the redevelopment, the modest foundations of the original house were revealed, as well as a fine lemon tree near the back fence.
Back to the foundations
The redevelopment is now complete.

What do you make of this tale of 25 Barak Road?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

305 The Boulevard, Port Melbourne

Changing circumstances on The Boulevard

On 13 July, 305 The Boulevard, Port Melbourne was sold for $1.326 m. The Department of Human Services property was auctioned by Greg Hocking.
A website that marks this 75th year of public housing in Victoria shows the layout of the Fishermans Bend estate (its the third image under 1930s), the first estate built by the newly formed Housing Commission to a winning planning design. (The text under the image is not quite right. The winning design for the layout of the estate was by Saxil Tuxen. Fowler was the person who pioneered the use of pre-fabricated concrete panels for housing. The first of these houses is on Howe Parade and has been discussed by Port Houses previously.)

Just in case you're wondering, the Fishermens Bend estate is covered by a heritage overlay reflecting its significance to the history of housing in Victoria. The overlay is supported by guidelines for redevelopment particular to the estate.
It is hard to reconcile that these modest dwellings, built for people in dire need of housing in the thirties, now sell for such huge sums.
305 The Boulevard

Monday, July 15, 2013

'Faux heritage versus contemporary' or something in between?

The Age (8 July) article  'Faux heritage versus contemporary home design' gave several photographic examples of each. Is the argument really as polarised as that?
The purpose of heritage policy is 'To conserve and enhance heritage places of natural or cultural significance'. Planners use a range of decision guidelines to assess applications but the guideline of greatest interest to observers of Port Melbourne's streetscapes is likely to be 'Whether the location, bulk, form and appearance of the proposed building is in keeping with the character and appearance of adjacent buildings and the heritage place.'
The planning scheme map of Port Melbourne shows the areas covered by a heritage overlay. In a heritage overlay area, a planning permit is required for most changes. In Port, there are many examples of additions to heritage places and new houses that have replaced heritage buildings. Some of the additions pre-date the current policy or pre-date guidelines or studies for particular areas such as Garden City and planning amendment C89 which implemented the recent review of Port Melbourne's heritage overlay.
As with all planning matters, there is vigorous contention. Some people  prefer additions to look pretty much the same as the original house, whereas others favour contemporary additions. The intention of contemporary additions, supported by the Burra Charter, is to leave an observer, now or in the future, in no doubt as to which is the original fabric and which is the new.
Here are some examples I find pleasing. This Heath St house demonstrates to me that 'many architects and designers understand that good "contemporary design" can take many forms, and one form is to design buildings that are polite to their neighbours. And to be "polite" does not necessitate the crass imitation of past styles.' (Michael Jorgensen, letter to The Age July 10, 2013)

a replacement building that is polite and respectful of its neighbours
Heath St, Port Melbourne

cnr Graham and Dow St, Port Melbourne

Any addition to this house, being on a corner, would be highly visible. The house may be double fronted but the site is small. This addition is set into the roof space to reduce its prominence. The dark colour is recessive. As you can see, the addition is not visible from Graham Street, so the objective of retaining the significance of the heritage place is fulfilled.
Knowing that people have different views about planning and particularly on this matter, this is an invitation for you to nominate your best and worst examples in Port Melbourne.

Friday, July 5, 2013

205 & 207 Esplanade West, Port Melbourne

2 February 2016
2 02 2016
7 October 2014
Clearing the site
The plaster oozed like cream in a layered cake. Gone now.
The houses are/were at that interesting junction between Dow St and Esplanade West, Port Melbourne that lead to endless confusion for taxi drivers.
5 July 2013
The planning permit phase
The property at 205 Esplanade West begins its journey to a new incarnation with the appearance of the planning notice on the fence. The proposal is for three, three storey townhouses with roof terraces.
Planning application 454/2013 was lodged on 29 May 2013. You can track the application on Port Phillip's application register.
205 & 207 Esplanade West

November 2012
Changing hands

The property sold for $1,600,000 (source Sold Price)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

35 Albert Street – a neglected gem now ripe for renovation

35 Albert St, Port Melbourne
After decades of neglect which didn’t bode well for a double-fronted Victorian house at 35 Albert Street, approval was sought to demolish the building and replace it with three two-storey townhouses. The City of Port P,illip and Albert Street residents combined to affect a change of heart. The application changed to a proposed restoration aid extension to this now heritage-listed building, and a reduced scope of works which now includes just one adjoining townhouse.

VCAT issued a permit on 21 June 2013 which requires the retention of the double-fronted dwelling which will contribute greatly to the heritage rejuvenation in this section of Albert Street. (contributed by Greg Hansen)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Spotlight on Queens Terrace

Nott St, Port Melbourne
Queens Terrace forms an identical pair of terraces with Jubilee Terrace. They were built in 1887 for agent Alexander Gunn and named in honour of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria's accession. This picture was taken in the afternoon after the solstice.
Source: onmydoorstep.com.au

Monday, June 17, 2013

98 Princes St, Port Melbourne

August 2019

The house references shipping containers, I am told.

August 2019

June 2016

June 2015
The house at 98 Princes St has been demolished.
June 2015
14 January 2015
We last reported on 98 Princes St when the house was sold after Sylvia Gleeson died. Her family operated the eastern kiosk on Station Pier from 1933 to 1971.
It’s about to be woken from its rest with an application to demolish the house to construct a two storey dwelling with a two story garage/studio at the rear. (City of Port Phillip Ref No 588/2014)
A life lived in 98 Princes St
98 Princes St was sold on 4 May 2013. Sylvia Gleeson lived in that house until she died. Her family operated the eastern kiosk on Station Pier from 1933 to 1971. She recalls
"Well, really, it was long hours - you had to be open before the stevedores started work, before seven; and in the summertime you'd be open until 1 or 2 in the morning to pay for your rent during winter, when there wasn't any customers, beachwise.

My father used to push a barrow ... up to the pier five days per week to sell hot pies, sandwiches, chocolate, biscuits, soft drinks, cigarettes and koala bears for travelers and wharf workers, tally clerks. Customs men, at the bottom of the stairs. I used to relieve him for his lunch break - I'd ride up to the pier on my bike and he would ride back to the shop.

When the migrants arrived here after the war, relatives - especially Italian - would buy large blocks of Cadbury chocolate, six or ten at a time, to throw up to the rails of ships where relatives were waiting to come ashore through Customs."
These are just some snippets that Sylvia told in They Can Carry Me Out: Memories of Port Melbourne.

They Can Carry Me Out: Memories of Port Melbourne Vintage Port: 'Worth Preserving' 1991 p74/5

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Bridge St
I am especially fond of this pair of houses on the corner of Bridge and Lyons St - on the edge of the former Sandridge Lagoon. The shop on the right is a tailor. It is like a museum piece. The verandahs bear the Port Melbourne crest.


Californian bungalows in Stokes St

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Waterside: 95 - 101 Dow St

5 December 2013

95 Dow St was formerly at the rear of TEAC's administrative headquarters and repair centre. It was in the video days and it was handy to have a video repair place nearby. 95 Dow St was occupied partly by a carpark servicing the TEAC offices and partly by a a low level office building that was home to Armaguard. It was in the days when people were paid weekly or fortnightly in cash, and so there was regular coming and going to the site.

TEAC headquarters on Bay St c1987 image courtesy Port Melbourne Historical & Preservation Society
Planning history

Following the construction of Bianca, the rear of the site fronting to Dow St was sold and a fresh application was submitted to Port Phillip Council that was broadly consistent with a previous approval. The site has had several permits issued over a period of time. The proposal for Waterside was appealed to VCAT by resident objectors and subsequently approved by VCAT on 28 February 2010. [ref P3225/2010]

This artwork on Dow St was the urban art contribution for the development.

Waterside contains 120 apartments and 3 levels of carparking.

Architect: Plus Architecture
Builder: Icon Corp
Partners: Beck Projects
Developer: Buxton Group and Beck Projects JV

Some site history

'The vacant land fronting on Bay St between Scotts Hotel and the boot shop on the corner of Little Bay St, known as 'the flat' was for many years prior to World War 2 a gathering place. It extended to the rear of the terrace houses in Dow St. All the houses in Little Bay St north side backed on to the flat. The other side was taken up almost wholly by land at the rear of the National Bank.'
[recalled by Edwin Whiting, formerly a resident of Dow St.]

Saturday, May 11, 2013

216 Rouse St, Port Melbourne

5 November 2013

Two apartment buildings in the vicinity of  Rouse St, Port Melbourne - Tjingari at 216 Rouse St and Armada at 115 Nott St, were finalists in the City of Port Phillip's Design and Development awards in the category of  'Best new development of 6+ storeys.'

The awards were held in St Kilda on Wednesday evening. Peter Maddison,  the guest speaker, spoke on the theme of innovation.

"How do we imagine the future when all that we know is the past?" was the teasing question he posed.

Tjingari won the Urban Art category for the work 'My mother's country.'

Architects: De Jong

Saturday, May 4, 2013

259 The Boulevard, Port Melbourne

4 May 2013

17 December 2012

16 June 2011

16 June 2011

Friday, May 3, 2013


There always seems to be one flower that captures the essence of a season. Today as dry winds whip around and the dark closes in early, I thought I would celebrate the dahlia - the essence of the last of summer.
Dahlias are getting harder to find in Port. Flowers suffer badly from garden fashion - in today, out tomorrow. The only remaining Dahlias seem to be found in the gardens of Greek residents. For many years, Greek gardens were derided. Now growing your own vegetables is de rigeur, and colour is back in fashion, but not, it seems dahlias. The dominant species in Port seems to either be iceberg roses or plants which survive on any windswept balcony and neglect. There is a loss of living diversity in the suburb.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Changing identity - from Kosdown to Evie

When Port Melbourne began its mighty transition, each new apartment development was accompanied by a brochure. Now, each new project has a website. The branding of each project is obviously critical to marketing success. This project dispenses with luxury names, the store of which must be almost depleted: Iconica, Luur. It ignores its proximity to the water: Aqueous, Aere, and dispenses with references to views - Bayview, Portview. Evie's gaze is more direct and personal. The display is transparent and open, the look clean and minimal. Have a look inside at Evie's website.

121 Liardet St, Port Melbourne

28 April 2013

Kyme Place has become the 'Treehouse' to its residents, according to the positive review of this affordable housing development in The Age on Friday 26 April. It is rare that the words 'delightful' and 'worthy' occur in combination as in the article. Clark takes a detached look at the development - her views not coloured by the controversy surrounding the development in 2008.

The project is a 27 dwelling building, comprising five 1-bedroom units and 22 studios across three levels above a Council-owned car park. The 'air rights' were transferred to HousingFirst (formerly the Port Phillip Housing Association) for the development and Council retains ownership and management of the public car park under the new development (22 spaces)

The project is targeted for low income single persons with significant links to the City of Port Phillip. The households allocated to the project have a mix of housing backgrounds, many having experienced homelessness or housing related stress.

It was completed in June 2012.

Architects: McGauran Giannini Soon
Developer: Port Phillip Housing Association

20 April 2009

The Port Melbourne Affordable Housing Project Assessment Panel Committee

The development proposed 31 rooming house units over 4 levels.

The application was originally advertised on 28 October 2008

The site was formerly a carpark created in approximately June 1988.

History of 121 Liardet St
Boats were built here! The Volunteer was built by Jesse William Merrington on the vacant block next to the Merrington's home, 121 Liardet Street, around 1920 or 1921.  The Volunteer was later sold to George Beazley.

Friday, February 8, 2013

227 Esplanade West, Port Melbourne

There is a picture of this house in 1976 in the City of Port Phillip's heritage collection  - probably when it was brand new. I wonder what it replaced?

17 December 2012

17 December 2012

Lyons St frontage prior to demolition