George Wharton arrived in Melbourne in 1844. An architect and surveyor, he was appointed to lay out the 'Village of Kew' by N.A. Fenwick following the land sales of 1851. A protagonist for Kew's separation from the Boroondara District Road Board, he was elected chairman when Kew achieved municipal status in December 1860. His home, 'Fernhurst', was built in 1866 on eight acres in Studley Park, with a four-storey tower and pyramidal roof. The Italianate home was a prominent Kew landmark. It was demolished in 1979 and replaced by St Paul's College in 1980.
Rare colour photograph of what was once a significant mansion in Kew.
Original colour positive photograph (Kodak print) of 'Fernhurst' in 1978. Photographed by Stewart West in May 1978, one year before it was demolished, the photograph gives little idea of the large landholding once surrounding the house. Originally accessed from near the corner of Princess Street and Studley Park Road, its gardens had been subdivided in the 1900s and its footprint restricted to 13 Fernhurst Grove. Like many other grand houses, by the 1970s it had been converted into apartments. From the photograph, one can see that the house had retained many of its original features such as the distinctive tower and the wide bow-fronted verandah. The slates on the roof (apart from those on the tower) had been replaced by tiles and the cement render of the exterior painted white.
Annotated reverse: "Fernhurst front view taken from across Fernhurst Grove / 6"
fernhurst, 13 fernhurst grove -- kew (vic.), george wharton, italianate architecture, vila maria society, st paul's school for the blind