53 Hawke Street

53 Hawke Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
photographer: Stephen Hatcher 2019

Also known as Benbow’s row house (51 & 53) & after 2006 “Templemore” Source: Hatcher Index
Previous Address 37 Hawke Street (before 1889) Source: Hatcher Index
Constructed 5/7/1871
Style Victorian : 1840-1890
Builder William Chrystal of Victoria street West Melbourne

Timelapse Building Images


photographer: Stephen Hatcher


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


photographer: Graeme Butler


Mrs D’Apote 53 Hawke Street West Melbourne taken in the 1970’s

source: photographer, Viva Gibb. Image held by SLV







Edith & Freda Stones

Land Details

  1. Certificate of Title: Neil Joseph McKay, 1920.
  2. source: PROV, V4202 F840240

Building Details

1872 Melbourne City Council building application registration no 4469.

1895 MMBW map.

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

William Chrystal lived on Victoria Street West Melbourne between Abbotsford and Lothian Street. He was a successful master builder in Melbourne, his other work can be seen below.

Building Type
71108 Gillies,- West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William 1860 08 4 441
71872 Donald, – West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1862 03 11 93
72123 Mundy, Charles West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William 1862 08 20 316
71876 Chrystal, William – 136 Victoria St West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William 1862 11 24 455
77478 Scott, – West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1863 01 21 31
72126 Young, James West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1863 11 12 408
74779 Paton, Andrew Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1864 06 15 311
72131 Gillies, William West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1864 11 2 542
77485 Taylor, James West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1864 12 6 600
71885 Chrystal, William – Melbourne West Melbourne VIC Factories Chrystal, William – 1865 08 1 1001
72246 Grearson, Mrs West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1866 01 31 1306
71689 Rose, James West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbounre 1866 09 19 1662
72635 McLellan,- West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourn e 1866 10 9 1699
77279 Meres, Mrs West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1867 04 22 2010
77280 James, G West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1867 05 30 2081
77281 James, John West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1867 10 22 2274
74225 Mc Dowell, John Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1868 05 14 2624
85974 Yeaman, John Fitzroy VIC Houses Chrystal, William – 136 Victoria St West Melbourne 1869 06 18 3298
71896 Stooks, George West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – 136 Victoria St 1869 12 7 3607
75118 Turner, James & Son Melbourne VIC Shops Chrystal, William – Mebourne 1870 01 31 3698
77293 McLellan, Robert West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1870 02 10 3725
77300 Benbow, William West Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1871 07 5 4469
81211 Condell, W Vallance East Melbourne VIC Houses Chrystal, William 1872 11 19 5138
76282 Condell, W V Melbourne VIC Warehouses Chrystal, William – Melbourne 1873 05 29 5411
73225 Turner, James & Son Melbourne VIC Warehouses Chrystal, William – 136 Victoria St W 1873 12 5 5691
13837 Hudson & Wardrop Yeaman, John VIC Funerary; Garden & Street Architecture Chrystal, William – 136 Victoria St West Melbourne 1927 11 11 3298

source 1 http://maps.melbourne.vic.gov.au / source 2 https://www.mileslewis.net/australian-architectural

Subsequent Building Alterations

In 2006 the terrace home has been fully renovated inside to include a new two story addition to the rear and a new corrugated iron roof.

This fully renovated and extended home offers 4 bedrooms of accommodation, plenty of natural light, quality fixtures, fittings and appointments and a very flexible floor plan, ideal for entertaining or simply relaxing. Boasting 2 street frontages for easy off street parking and comprising: wide entrance hall with decorative arch, 4 bedrooms (3 with BIR’s), formal lounge room, stunning hostess kitchen opening out onto light filled open plan living including dining/family area, 2 bathrooms, separate laundry and 3 x WC. Note: air conditioning, polished timber floorboards, 2 balconies, fully paved and landscaped gardens and gas ducted heating. Right on the city fringe, only minutes to the CBD, the Docklands precinct and vibrant Errol Street. This is defiantly one to inspect!

source: Renovation plans are on file at Melbourne Council.

source: Renovation plans are on file at Melbourne Council.

Architectural Features

  • Fin Wall

    Photographer, Stephen Hatcher

  • Path

    Photographer, Stephen Hatcher

  • Lacework
    Cast Iron

    Photographer, Stephen Hatcher

  • Doors

    Photographer, Stephen Hatcher

  • Windows

    Photographer, Stephen Hatcher

  • Fence

    Photographer, Stephen Hatcher

Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes

A single story brick cement rendered and painted 1871 Victorian style terrace home built in the “Filigree” style, a style distinguished through use of cast iron ornament, with a level paved area in front on with a deep back yard ideal for a garden.


From To Owner More Info Data Source
1974 to date Private Hatcher Index
1958 1974 Nicola & Carolina D’Apote Hatcher Index
1952 1958 Mary Margaret McKelvie, nee McGann Hatcher Index
1921 1952 Michael David McGann Hatcher Index
1920 1921 Neil Joseph McKay Hatcher Index
1915 1920 Ellen Donoghue Hatcher Index
1906 1915 John Craig Hatcher Index
1902 1906 Jos & Thos McDonald Hatcher Index
1888 1902 Mrs Sarah Benbow, née Weir http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article192203126 Hatcher Index
1872 1888 William & Sarah Anne Benbow, née Weir https://www.bdm.vic.gov.au Hatcher Index
1835 1872 John Allison and A. H. Knight purchased land http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/160584 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
1974 to date Private Hatcher Index
1958 1974 Nicola and Carolina D’Apote Hatcher Index
1951 1958 Roy Muller Hatcher Index
1928 Mary Robinson Smith The Argus
1921 1951 Michael David McGann http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203819571 Hatcher Index
1920 1921 Neil Joseph McKay Hatcher Index
1916 1920 John Sawyer Hatcher Index
1906 1916 Edith Stones Hatcher Index
1903 1906 Alfred Smelcher Hatcher Index
1902 1903 Thomas Eywin Hatcher Index
1900 1902 Alfred and Jeannie Shipway Hatcher Index
1899 1900 David Byrne Hatcher Index
1895 1899 Joseph Hulme, school teacher http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article241102520 Hatcher Index
1892 1893 Mrs Cullen Hatcher Index
1891 1892 Mrs Isabella Girdwood, née Taylor Hatcher Index
1890 1891 John and Isabella Gardwood, née Taylor Hatcher Index
1889 1890 Thomas Bruce Hatcher Index
1883 1889 James McNamara Hatcher Index
1883 1884 Burns Hatcher Index
1882 1883 J Leek Hatcher Index
1878 1882 George and Annie Gibbons, nee Cattach http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197420161 Hatcher Index
1876 1878 Alf Hayler & Henry Pullen Hatcher Index
1875 1876 Charles James Hatcher Index
1874 1875 James and Sophia Fulton Hatcher Index
1872 1874 William & Sarah Anne Benbow (née Weir) Hatcher Index

Social History

1951. Michael McGann

The Age

1928. Mary Robinson Smith.

The Argus

1895. Joseph Hulme.

The Herald

1888. William Benbow & Sarah Ann Benbow.

William Benbow, an engineer by trade and was born on 9 July 1837 in Wolverton, Buckinghamshire. He married Sarah Ann Weir on 21 July 1870 in Melbourne, Victoria. They had five children.

The Argus

1888 William Benbow.

The Herald

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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