Federation architecture refers to the architectural style of Australian homes built around the decades before and after 1900 AD. This site is a backup to Federation-House.wikispaces.com, which closed down in 2018. The new Federation-House.com site links to these blogs, but many old links to the Wikispaces site are unfortunately still present.
Tay Creggan House and Garden, 30 Yarra St, Hawthorn, VIC
“The house on the rocks”
“Tay Creggan was originally built as a magnificent Queen Anne styled mansion overlooking the Yarra River in Hawthorn. Completed in 1893, the enormous red brick and stucco mansion features amazing complexity in the roof structure which incorporates a small tower, dormer windows, high pitched gables and large terracotta chimneys. Tay Creggan is now part of Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School after it purchased the building in 1969.”
“Tay Creggan in Hawthorn is a magnificent example of the Federation Queen Anne style of architecture.
Architectural excess can be cause for sheer delight:
Built in Hawthorn in 1889,
Tay Creggan is considered one of Australia’s most important houses.
“Tay Creggan” – the house on the rocks – is the fantastical building of gables, dormers, turrets and tall, twinned chimney stacks that can be glimpsed from across the Yarra at Richmond.
“Up closer you can see scalloped terracotta roof tiling, fancy fretwork and finials, the ”candle snuffer” profile of the most prominent turret, the many pretty porches and the diamond leadlight in bay windows that project from the timbered upper storey.
When the house – now the year 9 campus of Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School – was built in 1889, it was an architect’s own home that took the boom style of late-Victorian housing to the next level of lavish.
“With all that exterior detail and exceptional interior appointment – the ballroom has three stained-glass cupolas, four wooden dragon gargoyles and a huge inglenook fireplace in Scottish oak – it has always been problematic for architectural historians to classify.
“Stylistically, what is it?
Elizabethan revival? 19th-century eclecticism? Early Arts and Crafts? Queen Anne revival? Picturesque Gothic? Colonial Gormenghast? The embellished copy of an Italian mountain villa once visited by its architect?
“Purchas was bumped from ownership, almost as the house was completed, by the 1890s bank crash.
“As you do, the new owners did some renovating and lavished even more features on the grandiose scheme.
They moved and remade the great staircase in ”finely worked New Zealand kauri”. They introduced family crests, beaten copper fireplaces, narratives of hunting scenes in stained glass and touches of art nouveau.
“Tay Creggan was built by the prominent Melbourne architect Robert Guyon Whittlesey Purchas (known as Guyon) as his own home. He bought the land, a 1.5 hectare sloping site between the railway line and the Yarra River, in 1889 and built the house in 1891-2, but ran into financial difficulties at the beginning of the 1890s depression and sold the house in 1892.
“Tay Creggan is a picturesque asymmetrical red brick two storey Victorian Queen Anne Revival style house set amidst spacious grounds overlooking the Yarra River.