Melbourne’s Most Magnificent Streetscapes – Edition #9

Canterbury 3126 – Mont Albert Road


Undeniably iconic as a streetscape of Melbourne, recognized for its monolith structures and massive allotments, Mont Albert Road has a wide selection of majestic examples of period architecture. Full of European influence with its English-style homes of the previous century and French Provincial palaces of modern times, this grand boulevard is called ‘home’ to some of Melbourne’s most affluent and powerful. Connecting from the cusp of Camberwell to the brink of Box Hill, Mont Albert Road stretches through Canterbury, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert, yet it’s the Canterbury sector, which is considered ‘The Golden Mile’ showcasing the highlights of pure opulence and architectural beauty. As new homes interweave between the period glory, matching the significance of the road with their grandeur, it’s the glorious old homes that maintain the memorable appeal. 

54 Mont Albert Road – ‘Frognall’ 1889


Renowned as one of the finest existing examples of Italianate Victorian architecture, ‘Frognall’ is of high architectural, historical and social significance in the state of Victoria. The stately double storey home with tower, the degree of concrete renderings and the largely maintained gardens differentiate it from its 1880s peers. The residence was built in the boomtime of 1889 with design from James Gall. It was owned by an affluent family before and became an impressive estate for the Royal Australian Air Force during the Second World War. Its sheer level of size and original grandeur is only rivalled by landmark properties like the Stonnington Mansion and Raheen in Kew. Private owners subdivided the property in recent decades, retaining some of the extensive grounds to include a north-south tennis court, swimming pool and hedged gardens. 

92 Mont Albert Road – ‘Colinton’ 1926


Designed by the acclaimed architectural pairing of Marcus Barlow and FGB Hawkins, ‘Colinton’ is a truly timeless treasure in Tudor-style on an established garden corner of some 3400sqm approx. It was originally built for Walter Gillespie, a highly talented scholar of Scotch College who would defy his desire for medicinal studies to become a partner in the family business, the Burnley Flour Mills. The steeply pitched roof, half-timbered facade and substantial standing from the road highlight some of the character. The last recorded sale of ‘Colinton’ dates back to March 2004, in which the property changed hands for $3.5 million. 

125 Mont Albert Road – World-Class Modern Luxury


A hallmark newer property that epitomises the lavish nature of Mont Albert Road is number 54. Designed by the illustrious Nicholas Day is a world-class resort style estate catering for every wish and desire. Set on a typically wide and wondrous allotment of 1747sqm approx., this 6 bedroom, 7 bathroom statement boasts incredible external concrete detailing with grand colonnades, captivating curvature and supreme height that appears to take reference from French, Italianate Victorian and Tuscan inspirations. Boasting an indoor pool, flood-lit tennis court, ‘gold class’ cinema, gymnasium, sauna, taster’s cellar and private lift, the marble dressed monolith has it all. An RT Edgar Statement of Information from October 2018 lists an indicative selling range between $16M and $17M.

106 Mont Albert Road – ‘Silchester’ c.1920


One of the greats of the Golden Mile, ‘Silchester’ seems to encompass all the glorious assets of homes on this famed boulevard with its massive allotment, rich history and resort-style amenities including north-south tennis courtyard, croquet lawn, swimming pool and enclave of gardens. Although its 1920 origins has clear period originality, the corner block is without any heritage restraints and may invite contemporary reinvention in the future. 

104A Mont Albert Road – The Everlasting Eyesore


Just for something different, or something that ‘could have been’ a worthy mention in a list of standout homes in Melbourne’s most magnificent streetscapes. It’s the unfinished eyesore at 104A Mont Albert Road that’s become somewhat of a local legend. Previously home to a 1960 built English-style villa, major demolition and construction work eventuated on the substantial corner block around the time of 2010. From there building seemed to have stalled, with all sorts of rumours doing the rounds from a lack of funding, council challenges or even the belief that owners had bought something else and just moved on. Maybe with a renewed effort and a reinvigoration of funds the home could be magnificently complete one day. 

Like many of the most prosperous streets, Mont Albert Road has the presence of constant construction and bare lots. As the construction continues and the historic homes slowly make way for modern masterpieces, it’s the timeless character that sticks out in a sea of ever-changing contemporary grandeur. Imposing and impressive in its sheer wealth, Mont Albert Road stakes its claim as one of Melbourne’s most magnificent streetscapes.