Melbourne & Australian Architecture Topics

A place to talk about Australian Architecture, Heritage & Planning Issues
It is currently 28 Jul 2014, 16:14




All times are UTC + 10 hours


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2007, 11:49 
Offline
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: 02 Nov 2005, 13:10
Posts: 1230
Location: Melbourne
Here's my (inevitable) thread about these two houses, fresh after my visit to them as part of the St Josephs Open House Day.

Studley Park Road & the surrounding area is particularly good hunting ground for those interested in the grand historical mansions of Melbourne's past. An earlier thread I did on Kew was evidence of that. Both Studley Hall and Wren House are situated in Nolan Avenue, which runs off at angle from Studley Park Rd.

Studley Hall (originally known as "Waverley") dates to 1869 ( architect Levi Powell) when it was owned by Charles Griffith. He soon sold the house, in 1873, to a John Simpson...at which time the house comprised 4 rooms and stood on 13 acres. Simpson had architects Reed, Henderson and Smart design the additions/renovations which resulted in much the same house which exists today - boasting 20 rooms, with a ballroom and cellars.

As with many of the houses built on this scale, its history of owners and uses is many & varied. In 1900 it was the residence of consul for Austria-Hungary Count Carl Ludwig Pinschoff - who changed the name of the house to Studley Hall. The outbreak of WWI and the fact that Austria-Hungary were with the axis led to the departure of the Pinchoffs.....& stay out!

This picture (1904) shows the house during the Pinschoff's tenure:

Image

The house next served as a rest home for war service nurses until in 1920 Thomas Burke, a catholic businessman, purchased the house and presented it to Archbishop Mannix who then presented it to Xavier College....which, after some alterations, opened it as a Preparatory School in 1921.

Image

Here's the front of the house:

Image

Image

Image

Here's one of the front head on. In 1991 a lot of the building was was redecorated. The external area certainly appeared in very good condition:

Image

The eaves along the side of the house are nicely finished:

Image

This is the view off to the city from the forecourt of the house; can see why the house was built here in the first place. Pity no one took a picture of this view in 1869:

Image

Looking down from the forecourt you are able to get an idea of the size of the mansions grounds:

Image

Unfortunately the guide to the open houses specifically forbids photography of the interiors. The interior of Studley Hall is impressive and in good order, the large ballroom at the rear of the ground floor now serves as a library. Only the ground floor was open for viewing, a lovely staircase leading to the temptation of the first floor was blocked off.....J.T.Collins took a picture of the staircase in 1968:

Image

Off to one side down a hall is the entrance to the cellars which have now been converted to two large classrooms.....I was able to sneak a picture of the stairs down to the cellar:

Image

Wren House (originally known as Studley House) is a couple of minutes walk further up Nolan Avenue. Its most famous occupant was John Wren (who bought the property in 1902) - but the house dates to as early as 1859 when a house was built on the site for the mayor of Melbourne John Hodgson.

In 1919 Wren had Studley House rebuilt into the mansion which exists today. After the death of Wren in 1953 the house was eventually purchased by Xavier College in 1966 and then renamed Wren House. The house now forms part of the preparatory school of Xavier College and is used as the music and art school.

Walking down the drive to the house:

Image

I couldn't resist sneaking a couple of interior shots in when the staff stationed around the house were distracted or elsewhere, though the resulting pictures aren't anything special.

Here's a murky shot of a ground floor class room. The lovely ceiling is still evident and it gives a good indication of the proportion of the some of the mansion's rooms:

Image

I quickly snapped this shot of the landing on the first floor. You can see the lush woodwork and doorways to each room....from memory every room in the house had the same grand entry:

Image

This is a shot of a corridor that ran off at the rear of the landing shown in the previous photograph:

Image

Out on the balcony, which runs along all but one side of the house:

Image

The view from the balcony is magnificent, this little picture looking out over the school's tennis court gives an idea:

Image

Some people looked at me a little oddly when I strode out on to the tennis court to look back at the house to get these photographs:

Image

Image

Wren House was also impressive, but I have to say it's conversion to a school just appeared a little forced and slipshod. The layout of the house and the size of some of the rooms obviously have made it difficult when it came to putting the property to its present use and some of the work done to install lighting and cabling for computers makes the rooms look run down and shabby.

It's difficult to imagine how these houses would have survived unless they had become part of Xavier College. Thank goodness they did.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2007, 14:52 
Offline
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: 01 Mar 2004, 08:07
Posts: 3444
Location: Marvellous Melbourne
Quote:
It's difficult to imagine how these houses would have survived unless they had become part of Xavier College. Thank goodness they did.

Then again they may have remained private residencies and restored immaculately, we can only speculate. :?

Well done again J.v.d.A. =D>

_________________
The Collector's Marvellous Melbourne :)

http://www.thecollectormm.com.au/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2007, 08:05 
Offline
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: 28 Jul 2003, 06:20
Posts: 1082
Location: far out, man!
I find Studley Hall very ugly.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2007, 15:09 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: 12 Sep 2002, 23:36
Posts: 3993
wow, I had no idea these existed ...

and Studley Hall is an awesome eclectic design.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 14 Mar 2007, 19:26 
Offline
Elite Member
Elite Member
User avatar

Joined: 28 Nov 2004, 17:39
Posts: 533
Location: St Kilda Road, Melbourne
And so the question that arises in my head every so often is answered. What happened to John Wren's house and where is it precisely? Thank you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 16 Mar 2007, 11:57 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: 12 Sep 2002, 23:36
Posts: 3993
Those interior photos look like the interiors are almost Edwardian style almost Bungalow style, but the ceilings are notably Victorian ... interesting combination.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Melbourne Buildings