55 Hawke Street

55 Hawke Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
photographer: Stephen Hatcher, 2019

Also known as Sharrow’s row house. Source: Hatcher Index
Previous Address 39 Hawke Street (before 1889) Source: Hatcher Index
Constructed 17/4/1878
Style Victorian : 1840-1890
Builder Mr T. F. Murphy

Timelapse Building Images


Showing 37 (LHS) to 55 Hawke Street (RHS)

Photographer: Stephen Hatcher


“Cisco Kid” on horseback
55 Hawke Street over left shoulder.

photographer: Viva Gibb


Showing 13 (LHS) to 55 Hawke Street (RHS)

Photographer Graeme Butler

Land Details

Part of allotment 16 within Section 55

The land where 53 Hawke Street is located on allotments 16 of Section 55 of the 1853 Crown land sale as seen on the map below.

Crown (VIC) Land Sale May 1853 Age Wed 4th May 1853
First Land Purchaser Allison and Knight Age Wed 4th May 1854

Building Details

1878 Melbourne City Council building application registration no 7588.


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

Subsequent Building Alterations

The terrace home remains mostly unrenovated inside. It’s fence was replaced in the 1960’s and it’s corrugated iron roof was replaced with terracotta tiles some time in the past.

Architectural Features

  • Building Ornamentation

    Photographer Stephen Hatcher

  • Building Ornamentation

    Photographer Stephen Hatcher

  • Doors
    Cast Iron

    Photographer Stephen Hatcher

  • Doors
    Cast Iron

    Photographer Stephen Hatcher

  • Lacework
    Cast Iron

    Photographer Stephen Hatcher

  • Doors

    Photographer Stephen Hatcher

  • Doors

    Photographer Stephen Hatcher

Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes

A single story brick cement rendered and painted 1878 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
1950 1974 Nicola & Angela Guida Hatcher Index
1942 1949 Ellen McGann Hatcher Index
1935 1941 John Morton Wallace Hatcher Index
1927 1934 Mary Robinson Smith Hatcher Index
1921 1926 Marshall Theophilus Smith Hatcher Index
1898 1920 Mary Sharrow Hatcher Index
1879 1896 James Sharrow Hatcher Index
1853 1878 John Allison and A. H. Knight purchased land Hatcher Index
abt 40 thousand years earlier 1837 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
1949 1974 Nicola & Angela Guida Hatcher Index
1942 1950 Henry John Sampson Hatcher Index
1934 1941 Herbert Adolphus Haines & Dorothy May Haines (nee Wade) http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article243342313 Hatcher Index
1932 1933 Gwen Phillips Hatcher Index
1930 1931 Mrs Hanna Bird Hatcher Index
1922 1928 Mrs. Mary Robinson Smith, nee Wallace http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3940800 Hatcher Index
1921 1921 Cath Rennie http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206934941 Hatcher Index
1919 1920 Elizabeth Parkinson Hatcher Index
1917 1918 Henry E Ferns Hatcher Index
1916 1916 John Baird Hatcher Index
1915 1915 Charles Ness Hatcher Index
1895 1914 James Horatio O’Connell & Bridgt Ellen O’Connell nee Doherty https://www.bdm.vic.gov.au Hatcher Index
1894 1894 Henry Warden Hatcher Index
1889 1892 Henry Rowley Hatcher Index
1884 1885 James McKellop Hatcher Index
1883 1883 William Comly Hatcher Index
1880 1882 Mrs Betsy Edwards Hatcher Index

Social History

1939. Dorothy May Haines and Robert Stewart engagement.

The Age

1928. Mrs W. W. Smith.
Union Memorial branch of the P.W.M.U.

The Argus

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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