Historical information

This photograph is part of the Caulfield Historical Album 1972. This album was created in approximately 1972 as part of a project by the Caulfield Historical Society to assist in identifying buildings worthy of preservation. The album is related to a Survey the Caulfield Historical Society developed in collaboration with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and Caulfield City Council to identify historic buildings within the City of Caulfield that warranted the protection of a National Trust Classification. Principal photographer thought to be Trevor Hart, member of Caulfield Historical Society. Most photographs were taken between 1966-1972 with a small number of photographs being older and from unknown sources. All photographs are black and white except where stated, with 386 photographs over 198 pages.

Significance

Myoora - Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H0490 https://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/275 Myoora, 405 Alma Road, North Caulfield, was designed by Reed, Henderson & Smart and can be attributed to Anketell Henderson. It was built in 1886 and 1887 for Thomas Christian, who had founded the fabled gold mine, the Day Dawn at Charters Towers. He never occupied the house although his widow lived there for some time. The house was subdivided into three and later six flats. Myoora was one of many large mansions on broad acres with gardens in Caulfield. Perhaps the grandest was Labassa. The mansions date from the 1850s through to the late 1890s. The siting of Myoora on a ridge influenced its planning and composition. A central hall and corridor along the ridge is entered from the centre of the more formal north facade. The entrance is marked by an elaborately detailed tower. A stair turret provides a second accent. The western end of the building is completed by a massively detailed chimney as the service wing. The south facade enjoyed an outlook to port phillip from a two-storey cast iron verandah. Bay windows, chimneys, the tower and the turret and minor details are brought together in a sophisticated asymmetrical composition. This is reflected in the planning. The asymmetry of Myoora pivoting on the tower is the most notable feature of the building. The walls are built of cement rendered brick. The cement render has not been painted. The roof is slate. The balconies and verandah are cast iron. The footings and cellar are bluestone. The architectural firm Reed, Henderson & Smart was very prominent in Victoria in the nineteenth century. Anketell Henderson was an eminent and well respected member of the profession. He worked successfully in London and interstate as well as in Victoria. They were better known for commercial and public buildings. Myoora is an important private commission. The style of Myoora is a combination of details from the Continental and English Renaissance through the boom style and the Queen Anne style. There is also an early influence from the American Romanesque style especially in the stair turret. The latter style was important at the turn of the century and Myoora is a significant precursor. Other buildings of a similar scale survive in Caulfield and elsewhere. Labassa, the most fabulous, is quite different stylistically as are most of the other comparable mansions.

Physical description

Page 6 of Photograph Album including four black and white photographs of the mansion Myoora. Two photographs in the top half of the page are in portrait orientation while the two photographs in the bottom half of the page are in landscape orientation.

Inscriptions & markings

Handwritten: "Myoora" 405 Alma Rd [top right hand corner] / 8 Oct 1966 Neg 229 [underneath top left photograph] / 8 Oct 1966 Neg 230 [underneath bottom left photograph] / 6 [bottom right]