127 Hawke Street

127 Hawke Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
photographer: Stephen Hatcher 2021

Also known as
Previous Address
Constructed 5/8/1884
Builder Robert Taylor, Spencer Street, West Melbourne

Timelapse Building Images


source: http://maps.melbourne.vic.gov.au/

Land Details

Building Details

Notice of intent to build.

Street: Hawke Street

Number: 1009.

Date: 5/8/1884

Owner & Builder: Robert Taylor, Spencer Street, West Melbourne

Fee: £ 3.10.0

Type: Two 2-storey homes [both with private back yard gardens]

source: Burchett Index

Subsequent Building Alterations

No Entries Found

Architectural Features

  • Gate
    Cast Iron

    photograher: Stephen Hatcher

  • Fence

    photograher: Stephen Hatcher

  • Steps

    photograher: Stephen Hatcher

  • Garden

    photograher: Stephen Hatcher

  • Doors

    photograher: Stephen Hatcher

  • Windows

    photograher: Stephen Hatcher

  • photograher: Stephen Hatcher

  • Lacework
    Cast Iron

    photograher: Stephen Hatcher

  • Building Ornamentation

    photograher: Stephen Hatcher

Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes


From To Owner More Info Data Source
to date Private source: Hatcher Index
Mr. Barrett, first Crown land purchaser source: Hatcher Index
1835 Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Victoria source: Hatcher Index


From To Resident More Info Data Source
to date Private source Hatcher Index
1965 1974 P. Benito source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1930 1960 Thomas and Lillian Catherine Corcoran, nee Peterson http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71634191 source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1925 1925 John Williams source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1920 1920 Herbert Scott source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1915 1915 Michael Caney source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1910 1910 Harry Considine source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1905 1905 John Mulcahy source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1900 1900 Mrs. Annie Orr source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1895 1895 Mrs. Ellen Luff source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1889 1890 Miss. Kate Dennett http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197327171 source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1888 1888 John Whyte source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1887 1887 Francis Wills source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.
1886 1886 Charles Hulett source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Stephen Hatcher.

Social History

Context and Streetscape


This property is located within the municipality of the City of Melbourne. We respectfully acknowledge it is on the traditional land of the Kulin Nation.
source: https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/history-city-of-melbourne.pdf
historical map source: https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/search-discover/explore-collections-format/maps/maps-melbourne-city-suburbs

This information must be verified with the relevant planning or heritage authority.


Hawke Street and the surrounding streetscapes in part, were indirectly influenced by news about the discovery of Gold by Dunlop and Regan in Victoria at Poverty Point, Ballarat in 1851. News of that find led to a great influx of migrants arriving in old Melbourne, seeking fortune and a better life, but housing in old Melbourne was in short supply. The sheer volume of arrivals led to pressure on authorities to expand the size of the colonial settlement, described by Albert Mattingley in his recollections of The Early History of North Melbourne, in 1916.

In 1852, government surveyor Charles Laing’s ‘Plan of the City of Melbourne and its Extension Northwards’ helped alleviate dramatically the pressure for more housing.

Vacant building allotments were pegged, surveyed, and allocated for sale towards the north, on La-Trobe, Adderley, Jeffcott, Spencer, Batman, King, Dudley, Rosslyn, Stanley, Roden and Hawke Street. Blocks of land were auctioned, with Hawke Street land first offered for sale in May, 1853.

By October 1853, W.M. Tennent wrote in the Argus newspaper:

 “Hawke Street is most desirably situated, is in a most healthy and elevated position and commands extensive views of the shipping in the bay and of all surrounding districts”

The race to be the first to have an influence on Hawke streetscape was won in July 1853 by Scotsman, Colin Campbell, who created two stone and brick rendered dwellings and a timber workshop at 19, 21 and 23 Hawke. He was quickly followed a week later by Thomas Stevens who built four wooden cottages on the corner of Hawke and King Streets. Steven’s wooden dwellings were later replaced in 1920 by S. J. Marshall’s architect- designed pharmaceutical laboratory while Campbell’s buildings were demolished in 1972 when the three-storey red brick Miami hotel was created in their place.

In the 1890s, the Hawke residential streetscape began to slowly change with the introduction of industry. The largest of the early industrial buildings that had moved out of Melbourne’s CBD, made its new home on the corner of Hawke and Adderley Streets.  It was designed by architects Oakden, Addison & Kemp and built in 1889 by John Dunton for Brisco & Co. who were cast iron merchants of Elizabeth Street Melbourne.

At the most southern end, an 1868 resident and engineer, Gideon James, and his wife Catherine, once lived at 207 Hawke while Gideon operated the Avon Tool Works business located next door at 199 Hawke until 1909. Their double- fronted Victorian home and garden and nearby workshop both were demolished in the 1920s and replaced by a two-storey red brick industrial building that has since been converted into 12 townhouses.

The southern end of the Hawke streetscape in the late 1860s was also home to a handful of important greengrocer and butcher shops. Among their owners were names such as James Ibbetson, William Wood, and Mrs. Mary Ann Smith.

In 1881, the streetscape continued to change with the arrival of Miss. J. Hutchinson’s mantle & underclothing factory at 96 Hawke, and Francis Gillman, who lived and operated a boot factory at 62 Hawke. The streetscape continued evolving when both Victorian period homes and workshops were demolished and replaced Number 96 is now a park and number 62 is a modern red and cream brick construction built in the 1980s.

Following World War Two, the Hawke streetscape received a rush of extra industrial buildings, from the Spencer Street corner southwards. These factories made all manner of items from electric batteries to spark plugs and baby carriages, marketed nationwide.

In 1895, the street contained 89 Victorian era dwellings. Seven Federation dwellings followed soon after. As of 2022, Hawke Street has lost 43 heritage dwellings, removed from its streetscape forever.

Without stronger heritage protection laws, by the year 2150, the number of heritage dwellings in this streetscape potentially could face total obliteration.

The remaining historic dwellings on Hawke Street are important to the area because they are socially and historically significant buildings that retain private back yard gardens and they relate directly to the early development of West Melbourne.

The Hawke streetscape today contains a collection of outstanding Victorian and Federation dwellings, which are a particularly well-preserved group from important architectural periods in time. These dwellings are interspersed by some industrial buildings, with two early hotels predominantly on the southern side south of the Hawke and Spencer Street intersection.

The North and West Melbourne Precinct is of historical, social, and aesthetic/architectural significance to the local residents and to the City of Melbourne. It is of historical significance, as a predominantly Victorian-era precinct associated with the nineteenth century growth of Melbourne to its north and west.

The residents living in the heritage dwellings along the streetscape are impacted by a push to increase residential density through conversions of the two to three storey red brick industrial buildings into six to eight story blocks of flats, blocks that offer little or no onsite car parking or onsite garden space.

It is imperative existing heritage regulations within the wider built environment be strengthened and laws be strictly followed. All development that occurs in future on Hawke Street ought to be architecturally respectful of the existing style, low scale heights and the hand-crafted materials utilised in keeping with the historic style.

Some might say the residents of Hawke Street and the surrounding streets of greater Melbourne owe a debt of gratitude to the wise Victorian settlers who created the beautiful terrace homes found along these streetscapes of today.

Other Information


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