39 Kneen Street, Fitzroy North

This house was constructed in 1892 for John Meckiff. John Meckiff was well known in the building and contracting trade of Melbourne during the 1870s and 1880s. The house itself is of a striking formal eclectic Renaissance composition with an arcade in 2 orders returning around the corner. The arcade is composed of Roman doric pilasters with relief tile work spandrel panels surmounted by a band of key patter frieze a cornice is supported on paired brackets with ribboned garlands between. The balustraded parapet supports draped urns with spiked balls.

The unusual central section with a semi-mansard roof contains corner windows with charming semi circular heads, but reflects an undistinguished interior space and seems to be a later addition. The interior front rooms are of considerable pretension with the original fire place and intact elaborate cornice. he whole effect is one of opulence, typical of the late boom period.” (North Fitzroy Conservation Study, 1978, p.98-99). (Glossary)

East Melbourne Conservation Study collection 1979 – sourced from Flickr – Graeme Butler

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