27 Hawke Street

27 Hawke Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
photographer: Stephen Hatcher, 2022

Also known as Marley’s row houses (27-33) Source: Hatcher Index
Previous Address 11 Hawke Street (before 1889) Source: Hatcher Index
Constructed 31/7/1869
Style Victorian, Mid: 1860-1875
Builder John George Marley, 1 Courtney St Hotham

Timelapse Building Images




photographer: Graeme Butler

John T Collins 1907-2001, photographer, held by State Libary of Victoria

Land Details

1895 MMBW map

Building Details

Built as a pair (31 & 33) Melbourne council building registration application number 4435.

As owner/builder Marley built 27 & 29 Hawke street houses in 1869 the subsequently built 31 & 33 Hawke Street houses in 1871.

1 – 2
Architects Building Type
77287 Marley, John George West Melbourne VIC Houses Marley, John George 1869 07 31 3362
77299 Marley, J G West Melbourne VIC Houses Marley, J G – 1 Courtney St Hotham 1871 06 3 4435


Subsequent Building Alterations

No Entries Found

Architectural Features

  • Fin Wall

    photographer: Stephen Hatcher, 2019

  • Building Ornamentation

    photographer: Stephen Hatcher, 2019

  • Chimney

    photographer: Stephen Hatcher, 2019

  • Fence

    photographer: Stephen Hatcher, 2019

Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes

Intact detailed wrought iron fence and gate and original window.

Simple and mostly intact masonry detail on fin walls.

27 Hawke Street is a single-story brick and bluestone building containing building fabric from the 1869 period of construction and is unaltered and fully intact to its era. Original verandah, Original fence and gate with bluestone foundations intact. 4 panel solid wood front door with fanlight window above.

27, 29, 31 & 33 Hawke Street were built by John George Marley.


From To Owner More Info Data Source
1975 to date Private Hatcher Index
1930 1974 Caroline Teresa Higgins (daughter of William Henry Jones) Hatcher Index
1923 1929 William Henry Jones Hatcher Index
1899 1922 John Craig Hatcher Index
1895 1898 Thomas McDonald Hatcher Index
1888 1894 Marley’s Trust Hatcher Index
1870 1887 John George Marley Hatcher Index
1853 1869 Thomas Allison and A. H. Knight purchased land 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 Hatcher Index


From To Resident More Info Data Source
1975 to date Private Hatcher Index
1972 1974 Aldo Peli Hatcher Index
1956 1970 Anne Julia O’Rorke Hatcher Index
1939 1955 Archibald Prentice Hatcher Index
1930 1936 Ernest Gray Hatcher Index
1927 1929 James Meehan Hatcher Index
1915 1926 Thomas O’Connor Hatcher Index
1914 1914 Frederick Angell Hatcher Index
1913 1913 Charles Sawplugh Hatcher Index
1906 1910 Thomas Stevens Hatcher Index
1905 1905 Samuel Turner Hatcher Index
1898 1904 Annie Ettershank Hatcher Index
1895 1896 Edward Ettershank Hatcher Index
1892 1894 John Dight Hatcher Index
1891 1891 William Nelson Hatcher Index
1890 1890 Mrs Isabella Phillips Hatcher Index
1889 1889 Thomas Ward Hatcher Index
1888 1888 Mrs Henry Hatcher Index
1887 1887 Mrs. Seruf ? Hatcher Index
1885 1886 Mrs. Martha Terry http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6069764 Hatcher Index
1882 1884 David and Elizabeth Brown, nee Shaw http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138074980 Hatcher Index
1880 1881 Stephen and Ellen Dunckley, nee Blunn http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142172966 Hatcher Index
1879 1879 Thomas Lloyd or Floyd Hatcher Index
1878 1878 Edward Ainsley Hatcher Index
1877 1877 Mrs Ainsley Hatcher Index
1875 1876 Andrew Pearce or Pierce Hatcher Index
1874 1874 John or Thomas Chalmers Hatcher Index
1873 1873 H. Jones Sands & Mcdougall directory
1872 1872 John W. Evans Hatcher Index
1871 William and Ellen Comely, nee Higgin http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5849770 source: The Argus

Social History

1954. John & Margaret Grey

The Age

1950. Archibald Prentice

The Argus

1931. Charles Thomas James

The Age

1928, Edward Hughes

The Herald

1918. Canaries

The Age

1896. Edward & Annie Ettershank

The Argus

1893. Elizabeth Marley

The Age

1893. Elizabeth Marley

The Argus

1890. Help wanted

The Age

1890. W. Neilson

Melbourne Leader

1888. Furnished room.

The Age

1884. Room.

The Age

1882. David Brown.

The Australasian

1880. Stephen, Ellen & Nellie Dunckley.

The Argus

1878. Newton terrace.

The Argus

1875. Furniture and effects.

The Age

1873. Help wanted

The Argus

1872. To-Let

The Argus

1872. Mrs Lockhart.

The Argus

17/6/1871. Insolvency of William Comely

13/6/1871. William Comely

The Argus

12/6/1871. William & Joanna Comely (nee Joanna Duncan Higgins)

The Australasian & BDMVic

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.


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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