151 McKean Street, Fitzroy North (Dentonville)

“‘Dentonville’, constructed in 1887 for John Denton is of greatest interest as a complex. There is a large hall behind (probably constructed in 1894) built presumably as an auction hall. Victoria and its Metropolis described John Denton as “… a native of Victoria, who was educated at Ballarat. He has been in business as an auctioneer for the past eight or nine years, his auction room, one of the largest in the colony, being at 244 Smith Street. He also has branch establishments in the Heidelberg Road and in North Fitzroy” (Victoria and its Metropolis. Vol 2, p.580).

The front of the house has arcading above and below and the roof extends out over the balcony line, with a parapet at the front line. The treatment is simple at both levels with square piers and arches without archivolts, but with keystones with inscribed decoration. There is an unusual frieze at the dividing level with a fern and flower pattern made up in 38cm sections, possibly of baked clay. At balcony level there is a balustrade of circles linked together by blocks. The upper frieze consists of foliated roundels and inscribed decoration between the roundels. The pediment balustrade consists of the same linked circles and the same plate ‘Dentonville’ intact in gold leaf script across the transom. There is intact etched ruby and blue side lights”.

“The hall at the back, constructed in 1894… Denton Hal at the rear was presumably an auction room. It is decorated by the same cement frieze decoration as the front of the house. The plain brick parapet with ornamental swags is surmounted by a pediment with vermiculated blocks and the semi-circular tympanum is inscribed with “Denton Hall”. The windows have bowtell piped moulded corners and segmental arch heads. The rear of the hall has been altered. The effect of the façade is austere, decorated only by a delicate cement frieze, garlands and pediment.”

The interior of Dentonville has been renovated, but there is a small patch of original wall paper in the hallway, and an elaborate over-mantle in the front room. John Denton remained at this location for almost 50 years (until 1930) when the property was sold to Michael Beshara.” (North Fitzroy Conservation Study, 1978) Glossary)

Google image – Nov 2020

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