Melbourne’s Most Magnificent Streetscapes – Edition #8

Fitzroy North 3068 – Alfred Crescent


Curving around the captivating and iconic Edinburgh Gardens, each home on Alfred Crescent is treated to park views, with many complemented by city sights too. Fitzroy North was always considered a suburb of the working class, yet its fortunes rose in the late 20thcentury and in the 21st century to be of tremendous worth, however Alfred Crescent has always the star of the show in Fitzroy North. With construction dating back to the mid stages of the 19th century and such a prominent parkside position with easy access to the city, homes here are setting local records. Director of Chambers Real Estate, ‘ John Costanzo’ said ‘it’s right up there with any street in the inner city or Melbourne generally’. Fair to say, you’ll do well to buy on Alfred Crescent. 

73-75 Alfred Crescent – ‘The Haven’ c.1889


Built by local icon John McMahon as his most famous creation, ‘The Haven’ is a stately double storey Victorian terrace with a proud and profound history in the Fitzroy North area. The Irish McMahon who set sail for Australia in January 1865 at the tender age of 18, became a prolific building figure in Victoria after he constructed ‘Elanel’ and ‘Matilda’ on Alfred Terrace and the significant row of 10 shops known as ‘Gladstone Terrace’ on the corner of Brunswick and Tranmere Streets. Known for being superbly well read, McMahon even purchased land in Pakenham Upper where his country house ‘The Grange’ was built, which still stands today complimented by its original gardens. Yet McMahon’s most famous building was certainly the 1889 built ‘The Haven’ at 75 Alfred Crescent. He even imported stained glass windows from Ireland, portraying a Wolfhound hunting scene. Much of the ornamental lacework and detail remains today, while distinguished by its huge garden allotment which is close to 2,000 square metres. McMahon would enjoy a celebrated public career in which he became Mayor of the city, helped found the Fitzroy Football Club and succeeded in opposing government desires to use Edinburgh Gardens for other purposes. Following the stock market crash, McMahon and his family lost their assets and 75 Alfred Crescent in 1895 to the bank, which was ultimately passed to the Salvation Army. It had many titles throughout the 20th century in relation to medical and hospital facilities, but was vacant for the later decades of the century, ultimately being transferred to a private residence with the last recorded sale dating back to September 1996, for $1.25 million. 

43 Alfred Crescent – The Tower House ‘Mygunyah’ c.1887


One of the single finest examples of the Art Nouveau style found in Victoria, 43 Alfred Crescent often known as ‘The Tower House’ is uniqueness unmatched. Originally built for a coachbuilder in 1887, the home was significantly altered in 1905 although much of the original façade and detailing remains, now listed under Historic class on Register of the National Estate. Standing out, it has unpainted vermiculated cement work, ornate iron and timber detail, keyhole lead lighting and glorified by the triple storey square tower with double curved roofing. ‘Considered the centrepiece of the Alfred Crescent Precinct, ‘Mygunyah’ is believed to have retained its original internals until the 1970s, although online photographs showcase particularly tasteful updates, full of rich timber detail, archways and high ceilings on appearance. 

19-21 Alfred Crescent – A Unique Victorian Pairing c.1886


A hallmark of the Alfred Crescent Precinct, this magnificent adjoined pairing is especially

rare with Italianate elements, stucco facades, Flemish-bond brickwork and sweeping internal banisters. All maintained to an impeccable standard, the single hipped roof covers both houses, while the classical terrace is divided by a subtlely seen wall. The pair was initially built in 1886 for contractor William Garitty. No. 21 was thoroughly reimaged in recent times, with a sale in December 2021 netting the vendors a sale price of $4.4 million. The Phooey Architects revamping included a 3 storey window wall, lavish basement suite, designer kitchen and traditional front sitting room with bay window and marble fireplace. 


109 Alfred Crescent – Italianate Enchantment 


About as striking a façade as you’ll see across the 3068 postcode, perhaps except for the exceptional no.43, 109 Alfred Crescent retains an Italianate Victorian fronting that money can’t buy. Or perhaps it can, the 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom residence also sold in 2021, this one for a clean $4 million. Rich in charm while renovated perhaps closer to the turn of the century with a vibrant choice of colour palette, this Victorian treasure gets sparkling city skyline views and an urban forest of a rear garden. 


Named after Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria who visited Australia back in 1868, Alfred Crescent follows the curve of the landmark Edinburgh Gardens. In an area glorified by initial planting of Elms, English Oaks and Holm Oaks, Alfred Crescent quickly became the most desirable street in the Fitzroy North area. Be sure to check out the walking tour (Walk No.2) provided by the Fitzroy Historical Society.