And here we find ourselves again, at the residence continually eddying in the simmering centre that is the heritage V developer cauldron of Bayside Melbourne. We have listed this absolutely sensational residence of pedigree and prominence at least twice before. Twice before thinking its time was nigh and twice before making the call for a true Modern warrior to set to work within the beautiful lines and materials created here in 1961 by architect (and leading firm partner), Arthur Russell. It transpired the last buyer was not so – putting forward a sub-divison plan which (to our minds thankfully) failed, leaving this home surviving yet another round of the Modernist wars. With this development ‘loss’ in mind, the growing band of Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts growing exponentially and a rich vein of creative couples families and solo masters available to marvellous Melbourne; we again put out the call for a deserving buyer. We’re posting some pics from its first sale years ago to whet the appetites and fire the synapses of those who know true Modernist beauty (and location) when they see it. Sure it is tired. Sure it needs love and care. But it is a grand, unbending survivor which should finally receive the recognition and restoration it deserves and which is so brutally denied to many others in the ‘hood.
As if from the pages of Black Beauty – we first see a gorgeous, spirited thoroughbred being sold as the pedigree it is only a couple of years later to see it pop up on the market again, having been mistreated, maligned and now hustled to the knackery. Heartbreaking. But we do at least have the chance to save this from a fate which befalls so many of the best MCM homes, well, anyone with the right amount of cash could do it.
It is after all it is McGlashan & Everist’s Abraham’s House* (actually no! see update below!). It does maintain a gloriously simple and impeccably elegant line, so far removed for the bloated and vulgar mansions which have assailed this coastal stretch like a contemporary plague. It does have the ability, like all great MCM homes, to adjust to the needs of now, if done right, with out too much effort.
The nightwatch over at Beaumaris Modern have been eyeing this like a hawk, but really it does come down to that one vital owner. The rare combination of restraint, wealth, appreciation for architectural significance and vision to shepherd this sensational building safely into it’s next era which will certainly see it valued far more than it currently is. Right now it’s future is not looking so good – please spread this one around people – someone always knows someone who knows someone.
*Update: a lovely afternoon’s discussion with one other than Neil Everist himself has revealed that this is not in fact a McGlashan & Everist home at all! Upon looking at the home he immediately knew it was not one of his works, but was unable to pinpoint the actual architect responsible- the plot thickens!
**Update 2** The provenance has been settled, according to the good folk at Beaumaris Modern this home is the work of Arthur Russell from Demaine Russell Trundle Armstrong & Orton and built in 1961.