Balwyn’s Interwar Heritage Homes
Panel Expert Evidence
Boroondara City Council
City of Boroondara, VIC
Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country
GML’s Melbourne team recently completed a detailed heritage assessment of interwar homes in the historic township of Balwyn.
The history of the township of Balwyn dates to the beginning of post-contact settlement in 1841, however development in the area was slow with only a small number of mansion houses erected by the late 1880s and early 1890s. The interwar period saw significant expansion in Balwyn and neighbouring Deepdene.
Since the 1990s, Balwyn and Deepdene have seen the extensive replacement of its modest interwar homes with new residential development. Those remaining places from the interwar years provide important evidence of the early history and development of this section of the City of Boroondara.
The series of work done by GML began in 2020 when preliminary assessments of a potential Tramway Heights Estate were undertaken by Context Pty Ltd (now GML Heritage Victoria). As a result of this work, Boroondara City Council engaged us to conduct detailed heritage assessments of several individual homes in Balwyn and Deepdene and one interwar precinct in Balwyn.
GML produced detailed heritage assessments for each of the places covering the history of Balwyn and Deepdene, the history of the specific place, assessment of the place’s heritage qualities including its integrity, a comparative analysis, assessments against the Criteria, a succinct Statement of Significance, and its recommended grading against statutory listings.
These assessments undertaken by Senior Consultant Mark Huntersmith and Senior Associate Dr Christina Dyson, found the places to meet the threshold for local significance as individual places and recommended them for inclusion in the Schedule to the Heritage Overlay to the Boroondara Planning Scheme as new individual Heritage Overlays.
This project represents critical work that recognises and protects the interwar historic layer and architectural character of Balwyn at a time of expansive urban change and renewal.
GML has also been commissioned to continue work in Balwyn on its post-war built heritage, and many of these places represent work by some of Victoria’s most acclaimed architects. In terms of architectural heritage, the City of Boroondara is significant for containing examples of the work of almost all leading architects to have practised in Victoria from the 1850s to the 1980s.