187 Stanley Street

187 Stanley Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
image source: Melbourne Council archives

Also known as Lourdes House Source: name taken from the original 2004 house photo
Previous Address Once known as 89, then 93 Stanley before street renumbering Source: source: Sands & McDougall directory
Constructed 1903
Style Victorian, Late: 1875-1901
Builder James Wilson of 10 Richardson Street, Carlton

Timelapse Building Images


image source: i-heritage, City of Melbourne

source: Melbourne Council Amendment C258, West Melbourne Heritage Review


187 to 195 Stanley Street, West Melbourne in 1983.

source: North Melbourne Library, photographer Graeme Butler

Land Details

  1. current map
  2. 1895 MMBW map
  3. Compiled Crown Record Plan
  4. 1865 Crown Land Sale showing Mr. J. McDonald was the first crown land purchaser.

Building Details

The first home recorded in council rate records in 1868, lists a wooden shanty and shed on this site, owned and occupied by Mrs. Smith.

In 1903 Mrs. Hannah Smith engaged builder James Wilson to rebuild a new family home on this site of brick and bluestone.

source: Burchett Index

Subsequent Building Alterations

Street: 187 Stanley Street, West Melbourne.

Registration Number: 8955

Date: 21/3/1903

Owner: Mrs. Hannah Smith

Builder: Mr. James Wilson, 10 Richardson Street, Carlton

Fee: £ 1.15.0

Type: Two storey house, [with its own large private back yard garden]

Other significant building works created by James Wilson can be found below.

Architects Owner Suburb Building Type Builder Build Date Registration number
Wilson, James – carpenter Little Bourke lane off Little Bourke Street Melbourne Factories Wilson, James 1851 03 12 175
Wilson, James Latrobe east – near Golden Age Hotel Melbourne Houses Wilson, James 1858 02 13 134
Bolwell, G E Station – nth of Newry Carlton Houses Wilson, James – Alexandra Pde – Fitzroy 1883 11 16 586
Willis, W Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Houses Wilson, James – Alexandra Pde, Nth Fitzroy 1884 03 26 791
Ravenscroft, G Independent Order of Oddfellows Victoria Street – opp. Trades Hall Melbourne Halls Wilson, James & Watson, – Alexdra Pde Fitzroy 1885 11 6 1833
Smith, H 187 Stanley Street West Melbourne Houses Wilson, James – 10 Richardson St Carlton 1903 03 21 8955
Gibbs & Finlay Oddy, E 146 Lygon Street Carlton Shops Wilson, James – 10 Richardson St 1905 07 1 9662
Adams, Wm & Co Dudley Street West Melbourne Warehouses Wilson, James – 341 Victoria St West Melb 1908 01 18 710
Jackson, Maria 282 Station Street Carlton Houses Wilson, James – 10 Richardson St Carlton 1909 10 9 1608
Watts, T & Son Baxter, James Rathdown Street Carlton Houses Wilson, James – 10 Richardson St 1910 10 25 2263
Wilson, John  Brighton Road Stables Wilson, James 1910 11 25

source: Burchett Index

The double storey Victorian-era heritage home was demolished by a developer seeking to construct a high density multi-storey block of flats.

It was was demolished without prior public notice to the surrounding local community.

How can a heritage graded building under the Melbourne Planning Scheme be demolished without a proper planning permit from the City of Melbourne?

Timeline (developed mainly from feedback from the City of Melbourne Planning Department.)

  • 1985 Building included in Heritage Places Inventory.
  • Late 2011 the application façade was to be retained.
  • March 2012 Permit issued – five-storey development behind retained façade.
  • July 2012 Amended, façade retained.
  • July 2013 Amended, façade retained.
  • January 2014 Applicants requested removal of Condition 4 which required an engineering plan to be submitted to Council on how the face was to be supported during excavation. Applicants wanted to rebuild the façade wall not to the original specification and this was (correctly in our view) opposed by the Council’s Heritage Advisor.  Council Officers advised that there would be a preference for the building to be removed.
  • Application placed on hold until applicants decided how they wished to proceed.
  • December 2013 – February 2014 Agreement was granted – not clear by whom – for full demolition as there was no Heritage Overlay applying to the property requiring a Planning Permit.
  • May 2015 Applicants met with Council Officers – discussed new design and full demolition, which appear to have been endorsed by Council later in the month.
  • 31 July 2015 After questions of completed demolition were raised by locals, Council Officer contacted applicant who advised that revised plan will be submitted within the next two weeks.

Revised scheme will be advertised and made available for public comment.

The community were not aware that a structure outside the area covered by a Heritage Overlay could be demolished without a permit. We are, in fact, alarmed that this is the case. We are further alarmed that this development is to be readvertised but only after the heritage house has been demolished. How are we to argue for the protection of heritage, after the house is gone? The horse has bolted.

Why is a permit issued by a private building consultant allowed to permit the demolition of such a graded two-storey house?

What we find even more disturbing is that the demolition appears to have been authorised by a private Building Surveyor with a notice to this effect attached to the fence on the site.  Is there some collusion between the Council and private surveyors to approve demolitions when they secretly agree that such a course of action is desirable from their point of view, or do such surveyors think they have the power to approve such actions in their own right? Where is the public transparency in either of these possibilities?

How was this house not covered by a Heritage Overlay?

Why? Was it a mistake? Was it carelessness?  Was it incompetence?   We do not know.  All we know is that an impressive two-storey façade of a graded house has been lost in what we regard as unacceptable circumstances totally lacking in any public transparency and failing completely to respect the “heritage policies” of the City of Melbourne.

This section of Stanley Street represents one of the few areas in the former industrial areas of West Melbourne where a reasonably-sized streetscape has survived the industrial onslaught intact. It represents, like no other area, the working class origins of the suburb. This demolished house and the two remaining next to it, illustrate the mix of more affluent structures amid working class houses that once were widely dispersed throughout the suburb, covering the area from Festival Hall to the City to the Victoria Market and up to the Errol Street shopping centre.  The loss of this house diminishes what is left to show future generations what the Victorian form of West Melbourne was once like.

image source: Google maps.

source: City of Melbourne and Mr. Bill Cook

Architectural Features

    No Entries Found

Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes

What is significant?

Builder, James Wilson of 10 Richardson Street, Carlton, erected this house for dairy keeper Hannah Smith, in 1903.

The name Lourdes derives from the French town where in 1858 the Marian apparitions were seen by the peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous who was later canonized. `Lourdes water’ is water which flowed from a spring in the Grotto of Massabielle in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, France. The location of the spring was described to Bernadette by the apparition

Contributory elements include:

  • two storey parapeted stuccoed row house;
  • side yard indicative of dairy function as is tall face brick chimney;
  • cemented cornice moulds, vermiculated blocks, scrolls, anthemion and brackets with a raised gabled entablature bearing the house name `Lourdes’ and featuring a cemented lyre in the tympanum;
  • face brick side and rear walls;
  • pitched roof behind the parapet, with face-brick and cemented and corniced chimneys;
  • two storey cast-iron verandah with altered Corinthian derived column order, cast-iron balustrade and convex corrugated iron clad roof;
  • double-hung sash windows, with segmental arches;
  • four-panel entry door and toplight, tiled verandah floor;
  • cast-iron palisade front fence and gate on dressed stone footings set between verandah walls; and · contribution to valuable Victorian-era streetscape and precinct.

Integrity is good despite missing urns and friezes.

How is it significant?

Lourdes, Hannah Smith’s house and dairy is significant historically and aesthetically to West Melbourne.

Why is it significant?

Lourdes, Hannah Smith’s house and dairy is significant.

  • Historically, for the long association with Hannah Smith as her home and dairy as indicated by the side yard entry to the property; and
  • Aesthetically, as a well-preserved Victorian-era Italian Renaissance Revival row house that is distinguished by its side garden and contributory to a valuable streetscape.

Source: 2015 West Melbourne Heritage Review by Graeme Butler, page 1617.


From To Owner More Info Data Source
to date Private source: Hatcher Index
1868 1919 Mrs. Hannah Smith source: Hatcher Index
1865 1868 Mr. J. McDonald 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


From To Resident More Info Data Source
to date Private source Hatcher Index
1964 1974 James Nolan Turner (son) source: Hatcher Index
1940 1964 Mrs. Margaret Turner source: Hatcher Index
1940 1944 James R. Turner & Mrs. Margaret Turner nee Nolan source: Hatcher Index
1920 1938 John James Thomas Kinsella (son) source: Hatcher Index
1913 1919 Mrs. Mary Kinsella source: Hatcher Index
1913 1916 Mrs. Hannah Smith (dairy) with Mrs. Mary Kinsella nee Smith) source: Hatcher Index
1868 1919 Mrs. Hannah Smith nee Ryan (dairy) source: Hatcher Index

Social History

Woman milking a cow, 1900 and 1910.


1888 The Age.
One strawberry, branded C.; one red, branded
G.P.; one yellow and white, snally horn,
£1 reward.
Mr. SMITH, 93 Stanley-street, West Melbourne.

source: The Age

Context and Streetscape


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

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


Other Information


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