Ballarat’s Pride: Leading Architects from 1857-1895
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeMasters Coursework thesis
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
© 2020 Erin Wood
This thesis is inspired by the pride in 19th century Ballarat architects shown in this quote from journalist William Bramwell Withers (1823-1913). He asserts the role of Ballarat’s architects beyond its borders, at a time when wealth from gold could have kept them busy in Ballarat. This highlights a geographical spread of activity that is unexpected, given the importance of capital cities in the modern Australian cultural scene. It invites a closer consideration of these architects and regional architectural practice more generally. In his article, Withers identified three practices working in this manner: Caselli & Figgis; Tappin, Gilbert & Dennehy; and James & Creber. Yet he only discussed the first two; including a listing of their recent designs and work at hand. This thesis will focus on these two practices, and their architects and professional networks, to gain new insights into the nature of regional architectural practice in 19th century Victoria. It begins in 1857, when H.R.Caselli commenced his practice, and the gold rush had created a permanent town in Ballarat. It concludes almost forty years later, in 1895, when these architects had died, or their working relationships had ceased.
KeywordsBallarat regional architect; practice; Caselli; Tappin; Gilbert Dennehy; Dennehy; Figgis
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