Friday, January 02, 2009

Changing suburbs

These two houses will be demolished. Up until perhaps the 1980s, two storey houses in Australia were mostly found in the very inner areas of capital cities and were the preserve of the rich. These two below are in Glenferrie Road, Malvern and the area certainly fits the bill so far as rich people go, although it is a bit further from town than inner burbs are considered to be. They will probably be replaced by a number of very expensive two storey apartment buildings.

As an aside, this is prime area for Jewish people to move to, and they have. While Jews started very modestly when they arrived post World War 2 from Europe by settling in St Kilda, they spread directly east to Balaclava, now their traditional Jewish shopping area, further east to Caulfield and south to Elsternwick, and more recently even further east into Murrumbeena, having skipped Carnegie, and the very well to do extended north from Caulfield into Malvern. Less than ten years ago, a new synagogue was built and also a child care centre nearby.

Along the footpaths of the shopping area of Malvern, well spoken but very Australian voices of the older multiple generation Australians are giving way to folk saying, Shalom Miriam. Matters not to me. I hate the area as how it used to be and hate the new version too. It stands for so many things I dislike. I am forced to be in the area for work purposes.

Ok, focus. These houses are side by side and a very lesser house in even worse condition next to one side has already been demolished. Never let ivy get out of your control is a saying in Australia, a pun on the the female name of Ivy. Ivy is certainly taking over this house. No one could call it an attractive house, with or without ivy, but it would have been the house of someone who had money. Perhaps it was a predecessor of brutalist architecture.

This one is a bit better, although only single storey. Melbourne in Australia during the summer can be very hot, hence the wide return verandah. I have only just noticed how abrupt the verandah looks since I uploaded the photo here. You could take away the verandah and perhaps have a better proportioned house. Maybe the verandah was added later. I recall seeing similar housing near Blackpool in England from a tram. The houses were sans verandahs though.

There are many houses like this in inner to mid Melbourne suburbs and just because they are very expensive to buy, it does not make them nice.


  1. Anonymous9:13 pm


    I don't particularly like Malvern as an area...the atmosphere does nothing for me. I prefer the area around my daily dose of posh, inner city Melbourne is concerned.
    I didn't know it was a Jewish area though...

  2. I'm just starting to discover some of the rather confronting new architecture that follows the Yarra in and around Kew - personally I much prefer something like the second house and I'd have to agree the verandah is certainly a later addition, the dead give-away is the fact the window line of the front room is so high up underneath the verandah.

  3. "No one could call it an attractive house..."

    Looks all right to me. Lick o' paint, the addition of a porch, bit of tidying up in the garden, and I'd swap it for mine.

  4. Top house is very brutal in design, no one could ever call it a welcoming home!
    Lower house - yes, if verandah was contemporary it would be in brick with a slate roof, not wood and corrugated iron, although it's not as bad as some horrendous home additions have been.'ll be purchasing both blocks and building a lovely retirement home for all us bloggers, Andrew? :P

  5. Rising damp is what comes to mind when I see these houses, I do not know why, it just does.
    My friend who is my adoptive mum has an ivy creeper. It was dead as a door knob until mid November when it came back to life and threatens to over take her house. Now it is on her garage, and when we looked inside her garage for something the other week I said to her, "Look at that..the creeper has come inside the garage and the trunk is as thick as a tree trunk". I think the creeper is actually holding up her shed! So she needs to keep it there..or else have nothing to house her tools, lol.

  6. Anonymous11:49 am

    I think you'd fine it'd need re-stumping, re-plumbing, rewiring and just general renovation. The roof needs does the garden.
    Is that the sort of houses you get over in Fleetwood, Brian? Or should I be imagining the sort of boring, sameness of the housing similar to 'Turn Left', Dr. Who - Leeds?

  7. It wasn't Reuben, but it is becoming so.

    Ah your back. Can I call you Mut for short? There is the odd new two storey town house I like, but most not. Well spotted about the verandah.

    I think Reuben would be right Brian, a wreck inside and as per Cazzie, rising damp.

    What a lovely idea Jayne, but no funds for such.

    There would be plenty of structures held up by ivy and wisteria perhaps too Cazzie. Terrible pest in the bush though.

    I am not going to call where Brian lives boring sameness Reuben. You can do it.

  8. Reuben,

    Victorian terraces...that's what Fleetwood mainly consists of. All pretty much the same as each other with the occasional garish orange butterfly stuck on the wall for a bit of individual statement. There's a simple, anonymous appeal to it...not to mention a strict building code.