435 Napier Street, Fitzroy

January 2019 – Realestate.com.au


In the late 1830s the land of Fitzroy was subdivided into sections along with other areas north of the city. Within Fitzroy there were 12 sections, the most undesirable, being section 85 which consisted of majority swamp lands. I am not sure who purchased section 85 of Jika Jika parish, but, at some point between the late 1830’s and 1970’s the land becomes the property of J.M. Smith Esq. a solicitor from England who was fast making his fortunes in Melbourne. Over the period from 1840-1880 the large sections of Fitzroy were broken down and subdivided for the purpose of building houses (refer Fitzroy – Melbourne’s First Suburb, p.10-11, The First Suburb by Miles Lewis). The last of these sections was section 85. In 1876, a plan for the subdivision of the block bordered by Cecil St (N), Young St (W), Westgarth St (S) and Napier St (E) was created. You can see from the map below that there was a strange design applied to the sites. In particular, on Napier St, site 12, 14, 16 and 18 were double blocks.

This site was the double block ’14’. The purchaser was likely the builder and built both 433 and 435 together.

Section of the 1876 Plan of Subdivision of part of section 85 Parish of Jika Jika Fitzroy, 1876 – State Library

William G Barton – resident 1890

Vacant in 1895

Thomas Ferguson – resident 1900

The above photo was taken in April 1901. The photo is taken from Gore street, looking west along Westgarth Street. There were no houses between Gore and Napier Street north of Westgarth Street. The two houses in the middle-right of this picture are 433-435 Napier Street. It is the oldest photo I have located of these houses. (Junior Cricket: Fitzroy La Mascotte v. South Yarra. Scene of the exciting play on Saturday at Smith Street Reserve, Fitzroy, The Australasian, 27 April 1901, p.26)

Thomas Brown – resident 1905

Harry Barnett – resident 1910

John Carter – resident 1915

Joshua L Cartmel – resident 1920

Thomas William Naughton (Labourer) and Margaret Mary Naugton (Home Duties) – resident 1925 (Sands & MacDougall, 1925 & Electoral Roll, 1925)

Jos. L Bailey – resident 1930

Jason P Flanagan – resident 1935-1940

Chas H Sprague – resident 1945

Mitchell Rafferty – resident 1950-1955

H Demaroo – resident 1960-1965

S Kyriakous – resident 1970-1975

435 is on the left of this image – Committee for Urban Action (between 1970-1974) – Identifier CUAFY62/6-7 – State Library

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