16 Capel Street

16 Capel Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
photographer: Stephen Hatcher

Also known as Aberdeen House Source: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1555486
Previous Address
Constructed
Style Victorian : 1840-1890
Architect
Builder

Timelapse Building Images

2004

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

1983

source: North Melbourne Library, photographer Graeme Butler


Land Details

  1. Current map
  2. 1895 MMBW map
  3. Compiled Crown Record Plan showing Mr. John Freer was the first Crown land purchaser of 4 land allotments in 1850
  4. 1859 Government land sale notice

Building Details

No Entries Found

Subsequent Building Alterations

No Entries Found

Architectural Features



    No Entries Found


Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes

Owners

From To Owner More Info Data Source
to date Private source: Hatcher Index
1859 Mr. Alexander Cooper, first Crown land purchaser source: Hatcher Index
abt 40 thousand years earlier 1835 Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Victoria source: Hatcher Index

Residents

From To Resident More Info Data Source
to date Private source Hatcher Index
1977 1991 Niels Hutchison (resident supplied data) (studio 1977-79) (studio and residence 1979-1991) http://www.colourmusic.info/ source: Niels Hutchison
1970 1970 H. & S. Frankel source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Anne Cronin in 2020.
1960 1960 “Chinese” source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Anne Cronin in 2020.
1950 1955 Thomas De Gruchy source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Anne Cronin in 2020.
1945 1945 Thomas Pulle source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Anne Cronin in 2020.
1930 1940 Mrs. Mary A. Pulle
1925 1925 Mrs. Laura Walker source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Anne Cronin in 2020.
1920 1920 Ernest S. Walker source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Anne Cronin in 2020.
1885 1915 William Cooper, builder source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Anne Cronin in 2020.

Social History

I once lived in the building, and recently had cause to dig into its history.

I’ve come up with a list of dates about the occupancy of 16 Capel, & its commercial neighbours.

While I won’t claim my data is perfect, it may supplement some details on your page.
Hope it’s helpful,
Niels

16 Capel Street (south)

Prior to 1920, the house numbering of Capel St south of Victoria Street, was duplicated in the northern block. The only difference in an address was the name of the suburb – North Melbourne (north of Victoria Street) or West Melbourne (south). The present continuous numbering system was adopted in 1920.
Originally, Sands & McDougall listed both North and West Melbournes alphabetically, among the other suburbs. In 1926, the Capel-Peel St block was included in the listings for the City of Melbourne. (Some other streets of West Melbourne migrated, too.) Dates below are a mix, from S & McD street lists and the electoral rolls, which sometimes differ by a year.

https://www.melbournestreets.com.au/16-capel-street/

OCCUPANTS

1859              Mr. Alexander Cooper, first Crown land purchaser
1885-1918     William Cooper, builder
1919-1922     Ernest S. Walker
1922-1926     Mrs. Laura Walker
1927-1940     Mrs. Mary A. Pulle
1945?            Thomas Pulle
1950-1955     Thomas De Gruchy
1960-1962     “Chinese”
1963               H. & S. Frankel
1968-1973     H. & S. Frankel
1977-1979     Niels Hutchison, studio
1979-1991     Niels Hutchison, studio & residence

9/5/1891 The Leader, Melbourne
COOPER. – On the 3rd May, at his late residence, 16 Capel-street, West Melbourne, Alexander Cooper, contractor, aged 63 years, dearly beloved father of William Cooper and Mrs. J. H. Thompson, Balaclava.
• Wm Cooper, builder, resided at 16 Capel St in 1900-03, and probably continuously until 1916-18.
2/9/1915  The Argus, Melbourne
1915. COOPER—ROCKE.—[Silver Wedding.] — [married] On the 2nd September, 1890, at East Melbourne, by the Rev. Robert Hamilton, William, only son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Cooper, West Melbourne, to Ellen, only daughter of M. I. Rocke, and the late Mrs. Rocke, North Melbourne. Present address – Aberdeen, 16 Capel street, West Melbourne.
• Ernest Sydney Walker took up residence in no.16 in 1919-22, followed by his widow Mrs Laura Walker, 1922-6.
23/2/1822  The Argus, Melbourne
Rest in peace. WALKER. – On the 22nd February, Ernest Sydney, the beloved husband of Laura Walker, 16 Capel street, West Melbourne, and loving father of Jessie and Rowland, aged 55 years.
• 27 Peel St was first listed as an address in 1926, when Mrs Mary A Pulle started a woodyard there. She also moved Into 16 Capel in 1927, perhaps as a resident, following Mrs Walker. Even though her woodyard closed in 1930, Mrs Pulle stayed at no.16, until 1940 at least.
• By 1940, the fruiterer H & S Frankel had taken over 5 Peel St for storage only.

  • In 1955, a De Gruchy resided at 16 Capel St, giving some indication it was habitable.

An aerial photo (about mid-50s) seems to indicate the back yard of 16 Capel St was not roofed, as yet.

  • As early as 1960, Frankel moved their storage to 21-23 Peel St. It is the first time those numbers appear for Peel St. The premises abuts the rear of 16 Capel St; together, they form the north boundary of Rouch’s timber yard. Frankel remained at 21-3 Peel St until 1974 at least.
    • From 1960-62, residents of 16 Capel St were simply listed as ‘Chinese’.
    • In 1963, Frankel moved into 16 Capel St as well. The following year it was listed as not available. It remained so until 1968, when Frankel used it again as their office. They remained there until 1973, when it became unavailable again.
    S & McD LISTINGS END 1974
    • NH moved in to a derelict 16 Capel Street, as ‘artist’s studio’ in 1977 and got the permit extended to ‘& caretaker’s house’ in 1979. The basement was still being used commercially, separated from the house by a locked door.

    Capel  and Peel Streets block (southern end)

    • 1900, between 9 & 29 Peel St, was McKnight, a cooper, and a right-of-way. McKnight was replaced by Miss Webb in 1901-2, succeeded by Roxburgh in 1903.
    • From 1916 to 1918, Kennedy (potatoes) and Chas Rouch & Co (timber yard & box making) occupied 11 Peel St. Their lot bordered 16 Capel Street on the north and spanned the block from Peel St to Capel St. On the south-west border of their lot, Rouch the timber merchant and Laing occupied 6 Capel St, from 1917 to 1920 or 21.
    • By 1919, Kennedy is gone; 11 Peel is listed as vacant though Rouch and his activities are still mentioned. In 1920, Rouch alone appears at the Peel Street address; his Capel St frontage of nos.8-14, is also included in 1922, though he and Laing no longer occupy no.6.
    • Rouch remains listed at 11-19 Peel and 8-14 Capel until 1932.
    • 6 Capel had fallen vacant in 1931; Rouch incorporated the property into his block in 1933, widening his Capel Street frontage to nos.6-14.
    • By 1960, Rouch was using 5 Peel St as an office, in addition to the timber yard bounded by 11-19 Peel St and 6-14 Capel St.
    • Rouch’s address at 11-19 Peel St was listed as ‘not available’ in 1966, though 6-14 Capel St were still designated as his.
    • The following year, 1967, no properties were listed south of 16 Capel and 21-23 Peel St. Eventually, the area was designated a car park in 1973.

COLOUR MUSIC
by Niels Hutchison
www.colourmusic.info

source: Niels Hutchison


1915. COOPER—ROCKE.—[Silver Wedding.] — [married] On the 2nd September, 1890, at East Melbourne, by the Rev. Robert Hamilton, William, only son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Cooper, West Melbourne, to Ellen, only daughter of M. I. Rocke, and the late Mrs. Rocke, North Melbourne. Present address – Aberdeen, 16 Capel street, West Melbourne.

source: The Argus 1915


1869. WANTED, GENERAL SERVANT. 16 Capel-street west, near Eagle Foundry. Apply tomorrow, from 10 to 1 a.m.

source: The Argus 1869



Context and Streetscape

Precinct

This property resides 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

Streetscape

The streetscape can be characterised as a mix of Victorian and modern buildings. Eight of the original seventeen single-story Victorian terrace dwellings plus some double storey commercial buildings are on its western side, south of Victoria Street, while on the eastern side, the street retains sixteen of its original thirty-six, wider sized early Victorian, two storey terrace homes, as well as two story modern public housing townhouses.

Crossing over Victoria Street to the north on the eastern side, nineteen of the original thirty-two equally fine examples of early two storey Victoria terrace dwellings can be seen, dispersed by a small number of modern two storey buildings. Unfortunately, all twenty-two of the original Victorian terrace dwellings on the western side from Victoria to Queensberry streets have all been demolished, replaced by taller modern commercial buildings that are out of character with the existing surrounding Victorian architecture of this once predominantly single and double storey residential streetscape.

Heritage of note include two 2 storey terraces at 62 and 64, both have National Trust classifications and Heritage Victoria registrations. Two more include two single storey terraces dwellings at 81 and 83 that were designed by the distinguished Australian architect, Mr. George Raymond Johnson.

Other Information

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