“This house was constructed in 1887 and altered in 1905, provides a unique impression of Art Nouveau architecture in Melbourne. The exterior is intact with the original unpainted vermiculated cement work, ornate timber and cast iron decorative work, elaborate keyhole lead lighting to the window heads and a square tower with a double curved roof.” North Fitzroy Conservation Study 1978 (Glossary)
“This house was constructed in 1887 for William Hobbs a coach builder. In 1887 the property was sold to David Watson, a dentist, and in 1905 a builder (Mr D R Iwan and Company) made alterations and additions to the house. David Watson owned the property until 1914. It then passed into various hands, and in 1924 it was owned by Reginald T Lloyd. The house remained in the Lloyd family until 1974. The plan of the original facade is visible on the 1901 MMBW survey map and appeared to have been identical to number 41 Alfred Crescent but without the bay window. The facade, altered in 1905, is extremely conspicuous feature is the rusticated square tower with a double curved roof of a late Mogul Imperial style, surmounted by a finial. The roof to the tower is clad in fish scale patterned zinc tiles. The corner tower windows are of a slightly oriental character with sloping timber bracket slats above.” North Fitzroy Conservation Study 1978. The Study of 1978 also provides a detailed account of the interior of the home and also references M Bernardi’s thesis “Art Nouveau Architecture in Melbourne” from the University of Melbourne 1968 which contain large colour photographs.
Apparently its original contents and interior decoration survived intact until the 1970s. The house was referred to as the home of characters in a novel set in Melbourne in the 1890s depression. (Sourced: Allan Willingham, Fitzroy Historical Society, April 2005 Newsletter).
In potential dispute to the above information, the address is also listed in 1915 as Belmore Private Hospital. The hospital operated here from 1915 to 1919 when S Callaghan moved to and established Carowindra Private Hospital at 449 Rae Street. She was at Rae Street for about 3 years. Prior to establishing Belmore, her first hospital was on Church Street. The hospital focused on midwifery but also advertised for housing invalids in the area.