House Styles in Victoria
Some Housing Styles of the past that can still be found In Victoria.
In Melbourne, for instance, one early observer noted that "a poor house stands side by side with a good house." This is somewhat less common today, with home renovations, gentrification and the teardown ("knock down, rebuild") method becoming more and more common in affluent suburbs, giving a broader distinction between wealthy and lower class areas. However, the teardown technique has led to home buyers purchasing land or older homes in poorer metropolitan areas and building extravagant McMansion style homes on the land, which look out of place and excessive, failing to match with the remaining houses in the street.
St. Paul's and St. Patrick's Cathedrals in Melbourne are excellent examples of the Gothic Revival Period, often referred to as Victorian Gothic.
As housing developed in Australia, verandas became important as a way of shading the house. From the mid-19th century in particular, as people became more affluent, they built more elaborate homes, and one of the favoured elaborations was the filigree, or screen, of cast iron or wrought iron. This developed to the point where it has become one of the major features of Australian architecture. Many homes with this feature are also considered Italianate architecture, the filigree element being the wrought iron balcony. A good example can be found in Queenscliff.
The Regency style was a refinement of Georgian, with elaborations like a portico with columns at the front of the house. The Royal Terrace in Carlton is an example.
The Rustic Gothic style developed out of a "cult of the picturesque" which largely focused on rural images and especially the picturesque "rustic house". In Australia, this style had a great appeal to British settlers who still carried with them a hankering for things English. Many examples of this style in Melbourne.
Second Empire was preferred for grander mansions. For the rich, particularly in the wealthier parts of the larger metropolitan areas, the style evoked images of French aristocracy. Although rare, examples can be found in Melbourne. Distinctive features include towers, quoining, mansard and slate roofs, square domes dormer windows, iron cresting and rich classical details.
1915–1940 This style can almost instantly be recognised by the columns holding up a front veranda area. The name is almost self-explanatory: bungalow, a rugged type of home. This led to the belief that picket fences looked appropriate at the front fence, although originally they were not used. Darker colours were originally used but, as the years went by, new brighter paint served as a welcoming change to open up the spaces and brighten up the homes. Stone, brick and timber, earthy materials were used. A gable roof faced either the front or side always.
1925–1939 Distinctly recognised by twisted pylons to a porch area covering the front door, usually windows grouped in threes to the side of the front door area on simpler homes. The style was influenced by the American Spanish inhabitant influenced American Architectural styles. Walls were brick in accordance with council regulations at the time, with white or cream yellowish cream stucco finish and Spanish terra cotta tiles.