Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Wrought iron lace work


Terrace houses came to these shores in the middle of the 1800s: single storey, double storey, single fronted, double fronted. Simple. Elaborate. They were mainly built during the reign of Queen Victoria and in the inner suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne. Some were to house working class families. Others were to house the families of the burgeoning mercantile classes. The majority of existing examples hug the harbour shore, for example in the easter suburb of Paddington, in the inner city at Millers Point and Surry Hills and in the inner west suburb of Glebe. This is where my photographs were made.


As many of the inner-city terraces have been extensivly renovated since the 1950s (gentrified), there is no guarantee that the wrought-iron lacework on the balcony and verandah is original or replica. Either way, they are ornate, individual and beautiful.


A terrace house is usually a group of houses all joined together: sometimes just in pairs but rarely more than 6 or 8 together. This, of course, reduces the amount of light coming into the building. This would not have been a problem in England but the translation to a sunnier climate was difficult. During the gentrification process, skylights have been introduced and back walls have been removed to welcome the garden into the house. Extensive use is made of timber decking.


Images 1, 5, 8 and 9 were made in Paddington.
Image 2 was photographed in the Toxteth part of Glebe.
Image 4 was shot in Surry Hills.
Images 3 and 7 were photographed in the original Glebe Estate.
Image 6 was taken on a wander through Millers Point.

20 comments:

AB said...

Nice that such a local tradition still survives.

As ever, the names seem familiar, including Toxteth, famous in the UK for the riots in 1981.

Julie said...

I am working on a post that focusses on the social divide in Glebe, and Toxteth is a crucial part of that. It was named during the tugging-of-the-forelock era of our colonial history.

Lois said...

They are all lovely Julie! They remind me of New Orleans.

DelBoy said...

I love these little homes. You see many of them in the older 'burbs of Melbourne too.

Jacob said...

Beautiful iron work!

J Bar said...

This sort of iron lace work is beautiful on these old buildings.
Sydney - City and Suburbs</a

Hilda said...

Oh wow, Julie! These are all beautiful, whether they're original or replicas.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is really fantastic shot !! Work done is so beautiful..Great..Unseen Rajasthan

Mirela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mirela said...

Great photos!

The differences in architectural details between countries always amaze me. This is something you would never find on a building here. Iron lace work here is always a part of a fence...

Julie said...

I wonder if the absence of some of the iron lacework in Europe was due to it being used for armaments during WW2. I gather that was the case in the UK.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Perhaps in the colder climates they don't have verandahs to show off the iron lace like this.

I have always adored terraces and looked a buying one several times but either the price was too high, the amount of work to be done too much or the skinny steep stairwells put me off.

Vogon Poet said...

Wrought iron lace work is the perfect title for a collection of beautiful images of period house. I may miss something of the history involved here, but you made the main concepts really clear to me. Great post.

lizziviggi said...

Beautiful collection of wrought iron shots! Our area here in the pacific northwest US was developed just after that style went out of fashion... so we have nothing like that here. Gorgeous.

altadenahiker said...

You rarely see iron work on houses in SoCal, except if the houses are owned by well-to-do people from Mexico. From what I've been told, in Mexico elaborate ironwork is a symbol of prosperity.

Can't wait to hear what you have in store for us.

Mo said...

Very trendy houses. Am I the only one still doing mid month subway now?

diane said...

The wrought iron lace work looks nice on those old renovated terrace houses. I can remember when the modernisation was taking place in the 60's. I had a friend who bought one and was renovating it in Paddington.

JM said...

Great set of beautiful railings! Some look so Victorian!

Building Materials Supplies said...

Great building.

I love these traditional homes!

steve The Builder said...

Great loving this blog