64-68 Napier Street, Fitzroy

This terrace was designed by the architect Alfred Kursteiner “in 1869-1874 for Henry Raphael. It has been cited as ‘the grandest residential design’ by Kursteiner” (Alfred Friedrich Kursteiner, Dr John J. Taylor, April 2014).

Google Image – Oct 2016

“This pair of imposing houses was apparently constructed in various stages.  Number 68 was constructed in 1869 for Henry Raphael a real estate agent to the design of architect A.F. Kursteiner.  Number 64 was probably constructed in 1874 for Raphael, although an earlier building may have been extended and refaced to compliment the existing building.  It appears more likely that a new building was built by Raphael, possibly again to the design of Kursteiner.  Kursteiner did work elsewhere for Raphael, constructing two shops and dwellings in Little Lonsdale Street in 1871.” (South Fitzroy Conservation Study, 1979, p.138-139)

“Inspection of the façade shows a neat junctioning of two buildings constructed of different times, with different details applied to each building.  A change of stringcourse at first floor level is echoed by the fine upward sweep of the cornice.  The masks on the keystones at ground floor level all differ.  The ancones supporting the first floor window sills are uniform, but the sill height to number 64 is increased by the insertion of an impost block.  The window heads and stringcourses above return to a uniform height.  The attic windows of number 64 rise higher than those of number 68 with small decorative relief panels.  The central arch has two different springing points again indicating a break in construction.  The impost moulding to the ground floor is different from number 68 and incorporates an astragal (beed and reel) and foliated cyma recta moulding.” (South Fitzroy Conservation Study, 1979, p.138-139)

“Despite different construction dates and subtle changes in detailing, the façade presents itself as an imposing and unified composition of three levels.  Internally there is an elliptical arch between the two front rooms of number 64, with otherwise crude joinery, and splayed window reveals at ground floor level to number 68.  There is little else of note.  Kursteiner was an active architect in Fitzroy at this time.  In 1866 he undertook alterations to the Belvidere Hotel, now the Eastern Hill hotel, Brunswick Street, and was probably responsible for the upper floor facades which remain intact today.  In 1870 he designed 14 cottages and 2 two storey houses in Mary Street Fitzroy and in 1871 designed 16 cottages and 4 stone houses in Mary Street Fitzroy.  These are the well known and unique group of houses in Greeves Street.  In 1871 he designed two houses in Victoria Parade, and there are other Fitzroy residences also designed by him.”

This pair of houses is the grandest residential design by Alfred Kursteiner a well known Fitzroy architect.  The composition and detailing result in an imposing and significant building. This building provides an important streetscape element to this important precinct.” (South Fitzroy Conservation Study, 1979, p.138-139)

One thought on “64-68 Napier Street, Fitzroy

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: