Bastow Legacy Part 3: From Small and Quaint to Picturesque Gothic

History

​​​​​Chapter 19: Bigger than Bastow

Beechworth State School no. 1560, 1875 was designed by Bastow but based on the prize-winning entry by Wharton and Vickers of a single storey school for 1000 pupils: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria   

Beechworth State School no. 1560, 1875 was designed by Bastow but based on the prize-winning entry
by Wharton and Vickers of a single storey school for 1000 pupils:
Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4:
Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


How does one create memorable school buildings quickly and en masse? The answer is to create a series of templates that form the basic shapes and sizes of the spaces, then embellish each with an individual touch.

When Henry Bastow was appointed as Victoria’s Departmental Architect and Surveyor, the largest school to date had been for 500 students. With the Education Act proclaimed, student enrolments were about to soar. Bigger schools were needed.
To assist in the quick planning for this, a competition was held.

Categories included a design for 1000 scholars on a single floor, and for the same number on two floors, and a design for 500 students. The winning designers were given their own design commissions.

All designs became the property of the Department of Education and Bastow adapted and tweaked design details to make them his own.

From these designs Bastow created ‘templates’ or standard designs that could be easily adapted to suit various locations and student populations.
 

Chapter 20: Small and Solid

Magpie State School no.764, built 1879: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Magpie State School no.764, built 1879: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


A large component of Bastow’s early work was to design for small rural populations.

He designed Magpie State School no.764 for 120 students in 1879. The school demonstrates the small-school template in action, but with a surprising flourish that characterises ‘Bastow’. With a sweep of his design brush, a small brick schoolhouse became an impressive showpiece of educational dominance.

To save on building costs the rooms were not separated by a corridor, instead they had their own entries. This practice of creating individual entrances was carried right through to larger single-storey schools. In some instances rooms were accessed off other rooms.
The compact design used for Magpie State School was popular and easy to replicate and erect. It appeared in wood, brick and even local stone, in the case of Morang South.

Morang South State School no.1975, built 1877: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria

Morang South State School no.1975, built 1877: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Chapter 21: Meeting Demand

Northcote State School no.1401, 1900s and already overcrowded: Darebin Historical Encyclopedia 

Northcote State School no.1401, 1900s and already overcrowded: Darebin Historical Encyclopedia


Bastow’s Malvern State School no.1604, built in 1875, and Northcote State School no.1401, built in 1874, demonstrate another template design for smaller schools. The school is basically the same shape as Magpie or Morang South, but with additional lengthening of the main wing.

These schools were designed for 200 to 250 students. Northcote felt the strain of an ever increasing number of students and several more buildings and extensions were built. This may not have come soon enough, with reports that in 1922 students were being taught in the corridors because of lack of space.

Many of these smaller template schools are still in operation throughout the state, although greatly altered and extended. Northcote retains the original 1874 building set among later two-storey additions.

Again both Northcote and Malvern were given the distinctive flourish of the Bastow brush, which included decorative arches, coloured or patterned brickwork, and finials.

Malvern State School no.1604, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria

Malvern State School no.1604, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


 Chapter 22: A Jerkin Showpiece
Caulfield State School no.773, 1877: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Caulfield State School no.773, 1877: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Henry Bastow believed that all schools were worthy of good and imaginative design. Caulfield State School no.773 was a clever twist on the standard single-room classroom.

The roof style is known as a ‘jerkin head’ and gives the building a quaint appearance. This is further emphasised with the use of narrow point-tipped windows and the roofline matched around the feature windows and portico.

The design became known as the ‘Caulfield style’.

Inside the room, 80 students were catered for in tiered seating. In the infants’ zone the galleries were designed to be divided by curtains, but these necessities were often overlooked. There would have been at least a couple of teachers competing against each other for their students' attention. This was something that teachers disliked and it was noted several times during the 1878–1880 review into education.
 

Chapter 23: A Pleasant Foundation

Mount Pleasant State School no.1436, 1874: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Mount Pleasant State School no.1436, 1874: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Ballarat was a prosperous gold-rush town in the 1870s and population numbers were soaring. Bastow quickly supplied several state schools including Golden Point, Sebastopol, Redan, Humffray Street, Urquhart Street, Ballarat East, Dana Street and others.

Ballarat is also home to one of Bastow’s earliest schools, Mount Pleasant State School no.1436, planned in 1873 and built the following year. The design was based on a winning entry by WH Ellerker, which became Buninyong State School no.1270.

Bastow used the Ellerker design as a base, then varied the patterned brickwork, window arrangements and the design and placement of bell turrets.

Although Mount Pleasant is a plain-looking school compared to later, larger schools, it became the foundation design for many schools in this size-range throughout the 1870s, so is integral to understanding Bastow’s growing range.

Architectural plan for Mount Pleasant State School no.1436: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS SSO1436-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria

Architectural plan for Mount Pleasant State School no.1436: Photographs of State School Buildings.
Department of Education: VPRS SSO1436-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records,
Public Records Office of Victoria


 Chapter 24: Fickle Fossicking
Talbot State School no.954, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Talbot State School no.954, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4:
Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


The U-shaped floor plan made popular by Mount Pleasant showed separate rooms for galleries and classrooms. The rooms conformed to standard sizes and made the Mount Pleasant design very adaptable.

If building for a smaller population, a wing or two could be omitted until numbers increased, then could be added without significant architectural changes.

This design was perfect for State School no.954 in the gold-rush town of Talbot. Talbot was the home of the first sighting of gold in Victoria in 1849. The town flourished and a school was opened 20 years later.

Bastow refurbished the school in 1875 to cater for an increased number of students. An extra wing was planned for if student enrolments continued to rise. But the alluvial gold ran out and the wing was not added.
 

Chapter 25: A Pleasant Design for Maryborough

Maryborough State School no.404, in 1874: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Maryborough State School no.404, in 1874: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Bastow's foundation design created from Mount Pleasant no.1436 was used for several state schools, including Maryborough State School no.404 in 1874.

Maryborough is glorious in its simplicity and execution. It is beautifully balanced and looks unique.

Bastow went for a traditional neo-gothic treatment on the windows by giving Maryborough pointed arches. Careful examination will reveal that the effect is achieved through coloured brickwork above the window and not with the actual windows – a more economical approach to a neo-gothic look.

A celebration of Queen Victoria’s 1887 Golden Jubilee is thought to be the occasion for the photograph of Maryborough State School.
 

Chapter 26: Worthy of an Elevated Site

Maldon State School no.1254, 1873: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria  

Maldon State School no.1254, 1873: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Maldon State School no.1254 was built in 1875 to serve a small goldfield town that was experiencing solid population growth. The community was proud of this new addition and delighted to be awarded such a beautiful design.

They were, however, displeased when presented with the location of the new school and lobbied hard for a new site to be found. An elevated hilltop reserve was offered as the perfect position for the new school.

Bastow adapted the plan to accommodate this new site. The school was designed for 750 students in eight rooms. In an early sign of Bastow‘s inventiveness, an overhanging bell turret replaced the customary bell tower.
 

Chapter 27: The Flexible Village Design

Gravel Hill State School no.1566, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria  

Gravel Hill State School no.1566, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Another adaptable design that could easily be reduced or expanded was used for State School no.1566, Gravel Hill (near Bendigo), built in 1875.

The prize-winning design for a single-storey school of 1000 pupils by Wharton and Vickers was the basis of Gravel Hill. Bastow took the plan and once again made alterations to the brickwork, bell tower and arches to make it his own.

This was a wonderfully flexible design as it was built much like a series of smaller buildings (wings) fitted together. It reminds one of a village or a community of small cottages – and it virtually was, with each of the rooms having their own entrances.

The wings could be omitted on buildings that were to accommodate a smaller number of students, bell turrets could be adapted, or larger towers incorporated, giving each school a different look.
 

Chapter 28: Site Specific

Daylesford State School no.1609, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria  

Daylesford State School no.1609, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


The long ridge purchased for the Daylesford State School no.1609 posed a problem. Bastow had never designed for such a narrow space.

Bastow’s solution was to push the projecting wings back towards the main building, but retain some forward elevation. To break the monotony of an unbroken main wing, the tower was placed to one side. Asymmetrical placement of towers, second floors and bell turrets was to feature more and more in Bastow’s designs.

Another complicating factor was that the Daylesford community could not decide how big to build the school. Predicting population growth was very difficult in the days before demographic research, so the final decision was to leave off the last forward-projecting wing. Although this adaptability in design was what the templates were most useful for, in the case of Daylesford the missing wing would have nicely balanced the facade.

With or without an extra wing, the Daylesford results must have been architecturally acceptable. North Ashby State School no.1492, Geelong, built in 1875, was not restricted by space, but the Daylesford design was used again. Note how the different window treatments in both schools give each a distinctive individual look.

North Ashby State School no.1492, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria

North Ashby State School no.1492, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


 Chapter 29: Solid as a Rock
Williamstown State School no.2462, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Williamstown State School no.2462, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Bastow’s love of the matching corner gables continued to grow in use, in size and in height, as seen at State School no.2462, Williamstown, 1878.

Williamstown State School was constructed with basalt reported to have been cut from the site, but more likely to have been cut from the nearby Gellibrand quarry (the same quarry that was serviced by prisoners held off-shore on floating prison hulks, including for a short time young horse-thief, Ned Kelly).

Williamstown State School and Footscray State School no.253 were both built from local basalt, but designed for different numbers of students. They are also good examples of the neo-gothic style favoured by Bastow. The large front multi-paned feature windows were arched with a slight point in the centre. The side windows were also point-arch designs, but smaller and grouped together in twos.

The tower was rounded, in contrast to the sharper lines created by the shape of the building and the rectangular basalt blocks, and was asymmetrically placed. Williamstown’s matching gabled corner wings were topped with a steeply pitched pyramidal roof, which finished a striking design.

A model of Williamstown State School was displayed at an international exhibition in France, 1878.

Footscray State School no.253, 1881: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria

Footscray State School no.253, 1881: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


 

Chapter 30: Sister-schools

Williamstown State School no.2462, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Williamstown State School no.2462, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Henry Bastow was well aware that building material and window treatment could significantly alter the look of a building. He used this to great advantage when duplicating Urquhart Street State School no.2103 and Williamstown State School no.2462, both built in 1878.
The shapes of the schools were exactly the same, and yet the contrasting execution in window treatment, building material and slight differences in the height and detail of the tower resulted in two remarkably different looking schools.

Bastow favoured the clean lines and feature detail afforded by brick. The Urquhart Street State School demonstrates this with a lot of detail put into the alternating brickwork above and around the windows, and decorative feature bricks along the walls and edges of the forward-facing wings.

A lithograph of Urquhart Street State School was featured in the 1880 report to Victoria’s Minister of Public Instruction to showcase advances in public school design.

Urquhart St State School no.2103, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria

Urquhart St State School no.2103, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


 Chapter 31: Adapting to Australian Conditions – The Horsham-Avoca Style
Avoca State school no.4, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria  

Avoca State school no.4, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-3: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Like many other gold-rush towns, Avoca had a steadily growing population. State School no.4 was built for an expected enrolment of 320.

Built in 1878, the Avoca school was one of the first to include a verandah. This, along with a rising high-pitched, tent-like slate roof, gave the school a distinctive picturesque gothic look.

Bastow created the design to meet the needs of Victorian summers. Teachers had complained about excessive heat in the classrooms. The Avoca design attempted to solve this by completely encircling the school in a verandah. Ventilation gables complemented the look of the roofline, and tall windows rose above the verandah, solving some of the interior lighting issues.

Although not wholly successful in reducing heat and increasing light, the design did demonstrate a new school look, one that was better adapted to Australian weather conditions and one that did not borrow from previous design influences. This design became known as the Horsham-Avoca model (Horsham State School being the original plan but altered before construction, leaving Avoca as the most intact original concept).

The Horsham-Avoca design became a popular template for about 25 Victorian school buildings ranging from single classroom sites to those accommodating 500 students.
 

Chapter 32: Adapting to Australian Conditions – Long Gully

Long Gully State School no.2120, 1879: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria  

Long Gully State School no.2120, 1879: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records,
Public Records Office of Victoria


Bastow continued to be faced with the issue of light versus heat. Bendigo’s Long Gully State School no.2120, built in 1879, illustrated a solution to both issues.

A reduction in heat was solved with the inclusion of the popular Horsham-Avoca verandah as well as overhanging eaves, while a dramatic feature window and multiple shaded windows increased light into the interior. The eaves were later extended in a further attempt to shade the rooms.

Window-sills were also creeping higher during this phase. The height of sills was needed to accommodate tiered seating within, as well as meet contemporary architectural trends. Note the door height on Long Gully State School in relation to the side windows. This reached its peak at Bastow’s Sale State School no.545 in 1882 when the sills measured 2.5 metres from the ground. So while the buildings were now lighter inside, the increased height of the sills perpetuated that ‘closed-in’ feeling.

Unfortunately at Long Gully the inclusion of a verandah also shielded light from the south-facing rooms. The infants’ room, located to the back of the school, came to be regarded as the worst lit of all classrooms in that district.
 

Chapter 33: A Most Captivating Design

Prahran South State School no.1896, 1877: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria  

Prahran South State School no.1896, 1877: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Bastow was really able to flex his architectural muscle in the larger ‘showpieces’ designed for inner Melbourne suburbs or for prominent regional centres.

Prahran South State School no.1896 (now Stonnington Primary School, Windsor), built in 1877, stood out as exemplary in its use of space, design and function.

A combination of symmetry and asymmetry created a small ‘village’ of independent odd-shaped buildings huddled together. The wide tower accommodated the stairwell – something that was not common at the time – along with a little room tucked in at the landing. The curved room on the ground floor was designed for the head teacher, and is still the Principal’s office today.

With its feature red brickwork and decorative windows it remains one of Bastow’s most captivating designs.
 

Chapter 34: Carlton’s Tight Allotment

Queensbury St State School no.2365, Carlton, 1880: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Queensbury St State School no.2365, Carlton, 1880: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


The initial flurry of building works that set the pace in the early years of state education began to ease slightly in the late 1870s. More buildings were still required, but Bastow now had more time to individualise his designs beyond the template.

Bastow wanted to create great architecture, and inner Melbourne offered him this opportunity.

Inner suburbs like Carlton continued to experience over-crowding. Carlton already had two large schools – Faraday Street State School built in 1877 and Lee Street State School built the following year (neither were Bastow’s designs) – but more were needed. Town planning had not allowed for so many schools, and land space was now more expensive to acquire.

Queensberry Street State School no.2365 was built in Carlton in 1880 on a small corner block and became an impressive addition to the neighbourhood. It rose straight from the curb in a symmetry of windows and double-storey side wings. A slim tower then elevated the height of the building even further – in the hope of dwarfing other surrounding dwellings.

The symmetry was broken by the Principal’s rounded corner office – replicating the Prahran South design.
 

Chapter 35: Towering Over All Else

Cambridge St State School no.1895, Collingwood, 1877: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Cambridge St State School no.1895, Collingwood, 1877: Photographs of State School Buildings.
Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records,
Public Records Office of Victoria


It was cheaper to build single-storey schools, but space in the inner city was limited. When it was necessary to build double storey the Department of Education wanted their schools to dominate – thus affording education the respect they knew it deserved.

As one District School Inspector observed: “… a high building should be better seen and look of more consequence amongst the small property which will inevitably shut it in.” Brunswick (school) building inspector.

Collingwood’s Cambridge Street State School no.1895, built in 1877, was created to do just that. The building was designed for a corner allotment where outdoor play area was already limited. It rises from the very edge of the pavement and is topped with a multi-functional tower – the second floor was used as an additional classroom.

At the time it did indeed tower over all else.

The rest of the building is ornate and symmetrical throughout. The windows are arched and pointed and are each flanked by pillars. This, along with windows arranged in regular groups of two or three, gives the building a sight Moorish feel.
 

Chapter 36: A Fiery End

Vere St State School no.2462, 1886: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria  

Vere St State School no.2462, 1886: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Vere Street State School no.2462, Collingwood, was completed in 1886 and was a large school built for 500 students. The dominating front facade, matching gabled wings and central tower used decorative brickwork to break the austerity of its linear form. The building was totally symmetrical.

Although the school is only double storey, the height of the gables and tower gave the illusion of being much taller. In 1915 the school became the Collingwood Domestic Arts School headed by Flora Pell. Pell was a teacher with the Victorian Department of Education until her appointment to the Collingwood Domestic Arts School.

She is perhaps better known for her famous cookbook – so popular that it went through 24 editions!

The school was located on the site of present-day Collingwood College but burnt down in the 1920s.

Cover of Miss Flora Pell’s Tested Cookery Dishes and Valuable Home Hints: National Library of Australia

Cover of Miss Flora Pell’s Tested Cookery Dishes and Valuable Home Hints:
National Library of Australia


 

Chapter 37: Gothic Grandeur

North Clunes State School no.1552, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria  

North Clunes State School no.1552, 1875: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Bastow had a great love of both the classics and later eclectic architectural styles. Two major architectural periods were highly influential in his designs: neo-gothic (or Gothic Revival) and High Victorian.

Neo-gothic architecture was a breakaway from years of classical building. It was a nod back to the highly ornate style used in the great gothic churches of medieval times when the guilds encouraged the masons to mix their building material with colour and texture to create decorative facades.

The neo-gothic period was sometimes described as a bohemian style, and became enormously popular in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Some distinctive neo-gothic features were pointed arched doors and windows and ornate edifices, particularly above and around windows and doors and along wall surfaces.
 

Chapter 38: A Neo-Gothic Triumph

Sandhurst State School no.1976, Bendigo, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria  

Sandhurst State School no.1976, Bendigo, 1878: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-4: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


Bendigo is home to what might possibly be Bastow’s most impressive neo-gothic creation.

Camp Hill State School no.1976 in Bendigo (originally known as Sandhurst) was built in 1878. It was a very large school catering for over 1000 students. It was built from red brick and decorated with contrasting cream brickwork.

Several features are unique to Bastow. The central entrance incorporates two bay windows – rooms used by the Principal and the Board of Advice – one on each level. The staircase can be traced by both the angled shape of the walls and roofline and by a series of small windows – a particularly unusual Bastow inclusion.

As with many Bastow designs, Camp Hill is set aloft a prominent hill, and the additional third-storey clock face (not included in the original proposal) increased the elevation of the already dominant hilltop position. This tower also served as a fire-watch tower for many years.
 

Chapter 39: An Eclectic Touch

St Kilda Park State School no.2460, 1882 ST Kilda: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

St Kilda Park State School no.2460, 1882 ST Kilda: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education:
VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


High Victorian was a distinctive eclectic style that reigned during the 1880s. It was a time of wealth and abundance, of riches and excess, and Melbourne’s property boom of this era resulted in a large number of highly decorative buildings.

Classic rules no longer applied and styles were mixed and matched. Popular styles included: neo-gothic, neo-classicism, Second Empire, mannerist, Tudor Revival, Romanesque and Italianate.

Famous public buildings of this time include the Exhibition Buildings, Parliament House, Treasury Building, Town Hall and General Post Office.

Henry Bastow was highly influential during this period both as an exponent of High Victorian and as head of the Public Works Department.
 

Chapter 40: A High Victorian Masterpiece

Queensbury St State School no.307, Hotham (Nth Melbourne) 1882: Photographs of State School Buildings. Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria 

Queensbury St State School no.307, Hotham (Nth Melbourne) 1882: Photographs of State School Buildings.
Department of Education: VPRS 1396-p0-2: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records,
Public Records Office of Victoria


Queensberry Street State School no.307 was built in 1882 in a commanding North Melbourne position atop a hilltop rise. The Queensberry residence was a showpiece of High Victorian style decorated by ornamental brickwork, cathedral feature windows and rendered trims.

The squared tower block is reminiscent of the Italianate gothic style and sits centre piece between two complementary corner gabled wings. There are several feature windows, one for each corner gable on either the ground or first floors.

The school also featured the Tobin ventilation system that effectively circulated fresh air. This system first appeared at Wandiligong State School as a measure to prevent the spread of disease.

The school later became the home of the Melbourne College of Printing and Graphics. Inside, the rooms were outfitted to meet the school’s new needs, but the facade was retained. Today it has been lovingly restored and extended and is the home of the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership.

Architectural drawing for Queensbury St State School no.307, Hotham (Nth Melbourne) 1881: VPRS 3686-p1-76-307.10: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria

Architectural drawing for Queensbury St State School no.307, Hotham (Nth Melbourne) 1881:
VPRS 3686-p1-76-307.10: Reproduced with permission of the keeper of public records, Public Records Office of Victoria


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