Mid twentieth century architectural gems of Mount Eliza

Thanks to your fantastic response to the original article we published on 9 January 2016, we have been able to add more substance and homes to the impressive list of mid twentieth century architectural gems that grace Mount Eliza. A special thank you to Alison Alexander, daughter of celebrated architect Ross Stahle of Mockridge, Stahle & Mitchell for her generous input in building out what would be a fabulous self-guided tour of Victorian mid twentienth century architecture.
— Vicki Sayers

With sweeping bush and beach perspectives on generous sized blocks, it is no wonder that Mount Eliza became a darling of mid twentieth century architects.

Simple, linear, harmonious light filled spaces with clean, flowing lines framing expanses of glass to create a gallery of garden glimpses, defined mid twentieth century modernism.

Mid twentieth century architectural design evokes a sense of easy and social living – that holiday feeling.

Flirtatious Mount Eliza seduced holiday makers from Melbourne and further afield. It was no wonder that accomplished mid twentieth century architects brought their blueprints to the generous bush and sea view blocks of Mount Eliza. Our idyllic village and surrounds created the most perfect storm for showcase modernist architecture.

Head down Yamala Drive to the top of the stairs down to Davey’s Bay, and you’ll find a series of etched metal tributes celebrating Oliver Hill’s and Mount Eliza’s mid century architectural gems.

It was visionary timber merchant turned property developer, John Taylor that kicked off the evolution of Mount Eliza’s exclusive garden development for holiday makers – Ranelagh estate.

This immaculately designed estate, along with Mount Eliza’s stunning cliff top, bush and beach outlooks, that provided the perfect setting for post war modern architects to develop an epicentre of modernist homes.

1920s: progressive Mount Eliza stays ahead of the future

In 1922, timber merchant John Taylor bought Nyora Estate with an idea to develop it into a country club estate while preserving the natural flora and landscapes. Along with fellow timber merchant Australia Sharp, a development company called Sequoia Pty Ltd was founded. Sequoia engaged cutting edge twentieth century Chicago born husband and wife architect and town planner team Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, along with Saxil Tuxen to bring the seaside holiday resort and country club to life. The original blueprint included 795 blocks and 13 reserves – that’s a generous reserve shared between every 60 properties! Each grouping of properties backed on to a shared reserve providing a safe haven for children to gather and play away from traffic.

Ranelagh Estate’s target market was professional urban dwellers that wanted an escape by the bay with recreational activities, parks and reserves to provide perfect backdrops for social and holiday frivolities. Ranelagh Estate is still celebrated today as a quintessential model of a garden estate.

Mount Eliza mid twentieth century homes

The catalogue of exemplary mid century modern (MCM) residences built in Mount Eliza is a long one. While many continue to be enjoyed by local residents, fabulous examples such as Myer House in Davey’s Bay Road have been demolished or modified to a degree that their MCM origins are no longer recognisable. Many contemporary Mount Eliza homes today pay respect to the areas mid twentieth century heritage by embracing modernist design.

Mount Eliza is enchanted with a fabulous collection of iconic mid twentieth century homes – inspired by natural surrounds and built to capture wide expanses of gardens and stunning views. Situated on ample blocks of beautifully landscaped grounds, these homes are in demand but very tightly held because they’re such fantastic homes to live in.
— Vicki Sayers, Live Love Mount Eliza and Sales Consultant for RT Edgar.

In compiling the list below, sorted by the date the original residence was estimated to have been built, we’ve tried to capture an impressive sub set of mid century Mount Eliza homes.

The sources we have derived these addresses from are listed at the end of this article if you’d like to explore further. Some of the addresses were also sourced from online real estate listings, and you’ll note that dates or architects may be tagged as ‘unknown’ where we’ve hit a dead end in our online research.

We know we may have missed some prime living examples, and would love our readers to right us on any wrongs, and add to the list if we’ve missed some fantastic examples that are still adorning our 3930 postcode.

Gather some friends together one weekend soon, and plan a self guided tour of the properties below, while taking in more contemporary properties and all that Mount Eliza has to offer. Make a day of it! Start with breakfast and coffee at a local favourite food haunt and finish up enjoying a lunch out followed by an indulgent afternoon of afternoon local shopping.

Grounds House ‘The Ship’, 35 Rannoch Avenue, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Image from Victoria Heritage Database (vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au)

Architect: Roy Grounds, a leader of Modernist architecture in Australia.

Built: c. 1934 (while it was built before the mid twentieth century, Grounds House paved the way for modernism in Mount Eliza.)

Ramsay House, 29 Rendlesham Avenue, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Architect: Roy Grounds

Built: c.1937

Sannazzaro House*, 46 Glen Shian Lane

Architect: Mockridge, Stahle & Mitchell

Built: 1949

* Information courtesy of Alison Alexander, daughter of architect Ross Stahle - from a list she collated in 2014 and kindly shared with Vicki Sayers following publication of this original article. Thank you Alison.

My great uncle Bill Hanton approached Mockridge, Stahle & Mitchell to design Hanton’s Pharmacy in Frankston. My grandfather George Hanton - along with Bill and my other great uncle Keith - became partners in the pharmacy in the mid 1950s. On the Facebook group Mockridge, Stahle & Mitchell - Architects - Alison Alexander, Ross Stahle’s daughter referred to the brave interior of Hanton’s Pharmacy for its time!
— Vicki Sayers


Tal Tal / Wade House, 51 Rosserdale Crescent, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Architect: Robin Boyd

Built: c.1951

Former McCutcheon House, Baden Powell Drive, Mount Eliza

Image: from digital.slv.vic.gov.au

Built: 1951

Architects: Bates, Smart & McCutcheon

Perry House, 15 Rendelsham Avenue, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Image: onthehouse.com.au

Architect: Esmond Dorney

Built: c. 1953

Dunlop House, 40 Canadian Bay Road, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Image: Google Street View snip

Architects: Mockridge, Stahle & Mitchell

Built: 1950

My parents built 40 Canadian Bay Road, originally as a holiday house, but it became our permanent family home. I still have the architect’s plans. It was lots 19 and 20 Boundary Road, Ranelagh Estate. We later sold the back blocks where we’d kept our ponies and grew vegetables. We sold the home finally in 2004, and also no 38 which was my mother’s beautiful garden. It looks so different now. Boundary Road was a dirt road, and was later renamed Canadian Bay Road.
— Anne Dahon, 10 January 2016 in response to the article posted on Live Love Mount Eliza's Facebook page on 9 January 2016.

Dikstein Holiday House or ‘Jutoru’, 4-6 Rannoch Avenue, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Image: slv.vic.gov.au. Donated by Mrs Naomi Fooks to SLV in 2005. Photograph taken by Wolfgang Sievers.

Architect: Dr Ernest Fooks

Built: c. 1954

Jutoru was named for the Dikstein children, Judith, Tony and Ruth.
— Anne Dahon, on Live Love Mount Eliza's Facebook page on 10 January 2016. (Thank you so much, Anne)

Gulls Way, Frankston South

While not Mount Eliza, neighbouring Gulls Way is a treasure trove of mid twentieth century homes including exemplary Chancellor & Patrick examples.

8 Gulls Way was a delightful home to sell. A gracious example of architectural excellence, the home was viewed in awe. - Vicki Sayers

House Nedloh or Kiddle House*, 8 Harleston Road, Mount Eliza

Image: digital.slv.vic.gov.au. Photographer: Peter Wille 1931 – 1971. This is one of the three Chancellor and Patrick residences that were built in Harleston Road.

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: c. 1954

Clements House*, 15 Harleston Road

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: 1958

Anderson House, 20 Ravenscourt Crescent, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Image: Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. Significant Place Citations 2014 page 206.

Built: c.1958

Krieger House, 33 Wimborne Avenue, Ranelagh Estate, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Architect: Hugh Schroeder

Built: c. 1958

bache house*, 6 waveney road, mount eliza

Architect: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: 1958

Butler House, 1/32 Wimbledon Avenue, Ranelagh Estate, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Architect: John H. Butler

Built: c. 1959

quigley house, 5 candian bay road, mount eliza

Architect: Neil Clerehan

Built: c.1960

65B Canadian Bay Road, Mount Eliza

Image: snip from onthehouse.com.au

Architect: Peter Vaalburg

Built: c. 1960s

Parkhaven, 107 Baden Powell Drive

Image: snip from onthehouse.com.au

2 Nunga Court, Mount Eliza

Image: australianmodernistlandscapes.com

We’d love to know which architect designed and built this fabulous house. Feel free to enlighten us!

3 Orchard Lane, Mount Eliza

Image: snip from onthehouse.com.au

We’d love to know which architect designed and built this fabulous house. Feel free to enlighten us!

John Rouse House, 85 Kunyung Road, Mount Eliza

Corner of Kunyung Road and Acheron Avenue

Image: slv.vic.gov.au. Photo by Peter Wille 1931-1971 photographer.

Architect: John Rouse, Associate of Chancellor & Patrick.

Built: c. 1960

33 Allison Road, Mount eliza

Architect: John Rouse

John Rouse designed my aunt’s home in the late sixties or around 1970 at 33 Allison Road. My family sold the home in the late 1980s.
— Vicki Sayers, Live Love Mount Eliza and RT Edgar


5 glen shian lane*, mount eliza

Architects: Gerd & Renate Block

Built: 1961

Simon House*, 33 daveys bay road, mount eliza

Architect: Neil Clerehan & Guilford Bell

Built: c.1962

Morison House, 28 Roehampton Crescent, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Architects: Harry A & Frank L Norris

Built: c. 1962

MacDonald's House*, 14 Glen Shian Lane, Mount Eliza

Image: onthehouse.com.au

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: 1963*

Watson House*, 27 erang drive, mount eliza

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: 1964

Gray House*, 102 Old Mornington Road, mount eliza

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: 1965

Knight house*, 5 rendlesham avenue, mount eliza

Architects: Robyn Boyd

Built: 1966

Beal House*, 19 Dueran street, mount eliza

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick 

Built: 1966

Pearce House, 135 Rutland Avenue, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Image: snip from onthehouse.com.au

Architects: Phillip Pearce, Senior Architect with Bates, Smart and McCutcheon.

Built: c. 1966


Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: 1967*

Womersley House*, 4 Two Bays Road, Mount Eliza

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: 1968

Lulof's House*, 1 Allambi Court

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: 1969

Hamilton-Smith House, 52 Canadian Bay Road, Mount Eliza (Ranelagh Estate)

Architects: Andrew Reed & Associates

Built: c. 1969

48 Humphries Road, Mount Eliza

Image: snip from onthehouse.com.au

Architect: unknown to us.

Built: c.1970

19 wimborne street*, mount eliza

Architect: David Dalrymple

Built: c.1970

15 Otaria Street, Mount Eliza

Image: snip from onthehouse.com.au

Built: c. 1970


The Otaria street house was renovated by a local who did a few houses in the area - Rob Pike. It was originally built in the 50s or 60s and Rob renovated it in the 70s a style ahead of its time :) An early open plan kitchen and European laundry/bathroom. A charming house. He also built huge decks :) The last house he renovated in Mt Eliza was around 2006 - also in Otaria Street and also with a huge deck. He was a great guy :)
— Veronica Wood, responding on the Live Love Mount Eliza Facebook page on 9 January 2016.
I know Rob Pike’s house well. It’s a fantastic property.
— Vicki Sayers


3 thornton road*, Mount eliza

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

12 Thornton Road*, Mount Eliza

Architects: Chancellor & Patrick

53 Kunyung Road, Mount Eliza

Image: Google Street View

Architects: Pettit & Sevitt

Built: c. 1970s

Designed by Ken Woolley of Ancher, Mortlock, Murray & Woolley for Pettit & Sevitt Pty Ltd circa 1969. This example in Mount Eliza was briefly a display home and looks to be in fine condition.
— Steven Coverdale, Mid-Century Domestic Architecture Australia Facebook Group, posted 10 August 2016.

1 jamesbrad court*, mount eliza

Architects: Artec Design

Built: c.1973

johnstone house*, mount eliza

Architect: Cocks & Carmichael

Built: c.1974

23 Wimbledon Avenue*, Mount Eliza

Architect: John Rouse

Built: 1975

And there’s many, many more...These are not residential buildings, but we can’t miss a mention of the following educational facilities that are exemplary examples of mid and later twentieth century architecture:

Mount Eliza pre-school and Infant Welfare Centre

Image: free image pool slv.vic.gov.au (out of copyright)

Architect: Chancellor & Patrick

Built: Opened in 1955

Mount Eliza North Primary School, 6 Moseley Drive, Mount Eliza

Architect: Kevin Borland

Built: 1978

A strong community voice continues to preserve this progressive 1920s vision for Mount Eliza

Thanks to active, passionate and collaborative community voices, we can all still enjoy this seaside garden estate and see what the forward thinking developers, town planners and architects saw back in the early 1920s.

Over half a century of advocacy and conservation efforts led by the Ranelagh Residents Association and supported by the Mornington Peninsula Shire and a range of Griffin experts culminated in heritage protection through listing in the Victorian Heritage Register in 2005.
— Page 33 of Ranelagh Estate Conservation Management Plan from Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.

Feedback from you, our Mount Eliza community

We received an outstanding response to this article that was first published on 9 January 2017. Thank you.

We are lucky to own a home on Two Bays Road designed by Chancellor and Patrick, best known for McCraith House. Love the uniqueness of the property and the beauty of the modern design. Built in 1979 I think. So many great homes in Mount Eliza, we are very lucky. - Andrew Crozier

Article funded by Vicki Sayers, Live Love Mount Eliza | Written by Julie Pearce, Content Services Melbourne


Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure > Heritage Alliance - Survey of Post-War Built Heritage in Victoria, Job 2008-07

Victorian Heritage Database Report – Ranelagh Estate, 19 September 2016

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council > paper by Built Heritage in 2013

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council > Ranelagh Estate Conservation Plan