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'Hawthorn House',
Shakespeare Grove, Hawthorn

This house was built in 1873 by Charles Levy, a merchant of Flinders Lane, for his wife and expanding family. It stands on land subdivided from the Invergowrie Estate by the then owner, George Coppin in 1872.

The house was designed by architect James T Conlon in the Italianate Villa - Rustica style popular at the time. The tower was added about 10 years later to provide more accommodation for the children and is believed to have been designed by the noted architect Koch.

The original family of nine children sold the house in 1917. It went through a period of neglect and in the 1930s was converted into eight small flats.

When the present owners bought the house in 1968 it was called Richmond House. This seemed inappropriate as it was situated in Hawthorn and also as the owners had grown up in Hawthorn in Canada, the name change seemed desirable.

After extensive renovation and restoration to a single dwelling, it was felt that a new kitchen, studio and storage rooms were necessary. These comprise the blue stone extensions at the back. The front facade was restored to its original state by removal of ugly 1930's extensions.

The garden, unfortunately, is in a parlous state due to the effects of drought and unusually voracious possums.

The house has provided the present owners with a happy family environment for more than 30 years. Each member has contributed to the interior so that it reflects the taste of everyone. There has not been any architectural or decoration input so the house reflects the idiosyncratic and eclectic taste of the owners and four daughters.