Illawarra House
1 Illawarra Crescent, Toorak 3142.
 
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Illawarra House
Summary:
  • Constructed in 1889-91.
  • Designed by James Birtwhistle.
  • Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (no. 603378).
Building Description:

Illawarra was commissioned by Charles Henry James, a beneficiary of the land boom of the 1880's. The house is of significance as a fine example of a boom-era mansion and serves as an early indicator of developing trends in Victorian architecture, namely the revival of the Queen Anne style. Early indicators of the Australian 'Federation style' can also be seen in this building. The ornate grandiosity of the house epitomises the spectacular excesses of the final years of the land boom, and in particular the cast iron work, especially under the verandas, is of exceptional quality. The tower is unique in Melbourne for a residence; its style more typically used on public buildings.

Illawarra was converted into flats in 1925-26 and then to boarding accommodation for St. Catherine's School in the late 1990s. In 1997, the building was fully restored.

Illawarra is currently owned by the National Trust and leased to St. Catherine's School.
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