Lugano, 215 Clarke Street, Northcote VIC

One of the great houses of the inner north, one of the rich stories of residential Melbourne.

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Featured in an article by Lou Sweeney Domain Reporter Jul 23, 2016:

  • Situated on Rucker's Hill in Northcote, 'Lugano' is a beautiful and complex Edwardian era Queen Anne mansion. It stands alongside its mirrored twin 'Mandalay'. Both houses were built in 1912 by master builder Laurence Edwards.
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'Lugano' is the left hand plan
'Mandalay' is the right hand plan, otherwise they are identical.

House of the Week: Prepare to be awestruck

The remarkable 'Lugano', 215 Clarke Street, Northcote, Victoria
The remarkable 'Lugano', 215 Clarke Street, Northcote, Victoria

"We need to talk about Lugano, one of the great houses of the inner north, one of the rich stories of residential Melbourne.
  • Built by Lawrence Edwards in 1912, the glorious elevation here is noteworthy on its own – the city skyline barely interrupted – but it’s the interiors that leave you awestruck.
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  • Truly, this is a special one.
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While the foyer’s columned archway is a suitably stunning introduction, you only have to jag left where bedroom one immediately ups the ante. It’s here you see the first of the incredible pressed metal ceilings.
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  • This one – Four Seasons – has cherub cameos each representing a different time of year.
  • Then there’s the superb leadlight bay window with city views, and the lovely timber overmantle.
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It keeps getting more remarkable as you go beyond the arch to the fine timber study and then two further bedrooms, the main showcasing a lovely tulip motif ceiling and excellent en suite.
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  • Across to the very generous eastern side you get a state-of-the art kitchen, a terrific meals area and handsome family room all sitting under another astonishing ceiling.
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  • Outside and beyond are decks and barbecue kitchens. There’s a neat little swim spa, apparently the spot to watch the New Year’s fireworks
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    and a cabana with sauna and gym. Behind the house to the north-east edge is the studio/retreat with bathroom."
Rear view of Lugano, 215 Clarke Street, Northcote VIC
Rear view of Lugano, 215 Clarke Street, Northcote VIC
"We really need to talk though, about the formal sitting room, the grand ballroom, the timber attic and the widow’s walk.
  • Set to the right of the entry the sitting room will make you weep. Its corner leadlight window seat with city vistas, its divine art nouveau overmantle and its Queen of Hearts pressed metal ceiling are extraordinary.
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  • The steep stair to the attic is a bit of fun and when you reach the rooftop to stand outside on top of the world, you feel like you could touch the towers of town.


Federation style Northcote stunner with breathtaking city views

From the Weekly Review by Alison Barclay, July 13.2016 4:40 pm
Its Queen Anne architecture, with a widow’s walk, turret, bay windows and a grand staircase from verandah to driveway, clearly has lasting appeal for inquisitive kids. In 1990, the grown-up Taig saw an ad for Lugano.
  • “Six hundred people attended the auction,” he recalls, “but I knew none of them were genuine bidders.”
  • He kept his hand down and bought Lugano two days later. A history boffin, Don Taig proved the ideal second owner for this extraordinary house.

Lugano, 215 Clarke Street, Northcote, 3070. Photo: supplied
Lugano, 215 Clarke Street, Northcote, 3070. Photo: supplied
He and his wife restored it, reproducing the original paint colours – rose pink, cream and duck-egg blue – and tracking down an expert craftsman, aged 100 and still working, to repair the pressed-metal ceilings.
  • Their best discovery was Lawrence Edwards’ daughter. “She was in a nursing home, and one of the cast-iron pieces of the widow’s walk balustrade was in her room,’’ he says. “I got the Northern Aluminium Casting Works people to copy it for me.”
  • He’s proud to call Lugano “a completely preserved period home, incorporating contemporary features in a period style”.

Mr Taig’s efforts to restore the home were rewarded when the granddaughter of the original builder, Laurence Edwards, showed him a photo of her grandparents’ golden anniversary party that was held at the home.
“I was happy to see that I had achieved a result that was pretty close to the original,” Mr Taig said.


Don Taig is selling his house in Northcote. Picture: Josie Hayden
Don Taig is selling his house in Northcote. Picture: Josie Hayden

'Lugano': Federation grandeur

This sensational historic residence (1912) is Northcote's most magnificent example of the Federation style, on a vast landscaped block with a 2nd street frontage and breathtaking views from the Dandenongs to the CBD.
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  • Sitting proudly on the crest of Ruckers Hill, and immaculately renovated with splendid pressed metal ceilings,
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  • remarkable Art Nouveau detail and quality modern appointments,
    external image IH1fZnNNQ7zqL1x7hQz-OW9aadGKjkI-zadexLDty06_fYiSaynzweMaxD9FRNW781Hw11iJ7swjb-En1bdW6ejaloHld1ZgzK09PLTrmFA3R1NeGWm0qpK3dDzn4iGqeFgsdwyGBgVo8jpTX_W6o42yljtmmuRFSJe2MwPw_wZwFUS0Px1z8zjRmlhaTJI0dzo_42im_yoQnR9bW9xuBruN-bmP8SNsYguG-I4T7GUzB3GusoeVFMRa_DjKkNZ7gp46swu_-k--mNdiVyRLatkmFwigsL2ZwwjYz7J3NJXeXlJ2i4OgtGB9mEI9xudscc83XP5JjN1E_odoXLVfG81VKgz6vpRGsAPZOQS1DQxC388Hp69RTJbWU23lChEw_N4q6jEN1TTEcG7TMEhEnEsEs-n0LrF-YJmJczcDqksz6R5k8BWrRn25izK911TT5_Ym1EdbxcUg9RpSV_fUj9bRXBm2cxf182d6CMnWSyVWR6EBW0dwXgwCSObLRukVi4H4TJbaZE0PINSjLeLSwYH5Qzk4H47tNzN7sI96nXLEifzpg1k_K02a1zeWFOMLXyC7LNd9cZnjIOK1h4TF4H28Hb4fm-4c=w1024-h683-no
    This unique residence, originally the home of pioneer builder Lawrence Edwards, includes
  • a grandly-proportioned dining room, (originally one of the few private ballrooms north of the Yarra)
    external image TiEhSVzxG_hd5ve6-pfuTCxLdiLJ7IAyEy6jKANo9CEDpKaTOvKlvh0ofGfO7KQbTihnqIo6x8_nbztUpz-juGPZ3gk7C5K03aqr7kWz9YhYxsEmgvQ9rEAv61knUuKt4iRP_hhkcJaqhBTTSBGabHkXBaigD8AMplbyquJAvDGPNJoGxRta-4HruSpmicL2nVsVRzrmLStrYQCe3KT4oKkXGnxN95ys8kpBCprDE6QK2aTD2spYAgZsMrCcnU1hZK4ypDkEL8qY6-GPcFwOL4qpu7RQzc-9tKzuZ9GPwzM0oYMYXcXudwRzSXlhqFQvzpm6u6v__SqP_UP8nku8afso0YG4KiteA9iczv7m2BUNVvx6B4Xcbb1Hh28QxtvrxwdbJQhOcfyw-okuW1elyey08J6cvr_ICS0mXBbJeh_2lbfwswLYqtilqjWoq2YRbKqYqXJJcktXrMXIl9yBsYfTQSya-hF2Lb5gOQnNsFDGIkWjzAYCAHWr-zygdbMXNP9EJ-Ih9wSn3CJftBniDp_PtwaeoBnlUy_4uQU-R4GRLGSBP8XVSKpTBkJMKQbTVI1dA4zjAIDMNf3yj2GqzLnPwodDNGm2=w800-h600-no
  • adjoining an opulent formal sitting room;external image 00391157_img_05.jpg?505082016&auto=compress&modify_date=05082016
  • expansive family living area flowing to al fresco entertaining decks,
    external image kDbAaueg7XNp4JtTufntT2dj7gOGDyXekeyVUMK0ggXYCt9CFxcTOTnjNLY6P-2p88vkRxZWnxD4iQnn9hi7qvtB0KGXDSOaqk2BDezOHJi1DuBJCbNz4V37iQ9FsFNdqS718J0KVCUrJ915OiumxE5cdtk1hpToo2hh54W8aclhumYN8cNoRffI2GhAjzuNK0ZtB-Lu0Bm2W3KabcmOd_2Lca3kluIK3RVcX5j1T3qPzNtqy-f9gQu7qqm9ZVZQZL6Nq8U9xlXQs7W2kPLLb-QKSBtEx_pEWc5eQRFDQaVrinYnnTt-S29FLOY2Pc188nng9uSGTP5EO5qkPeR20Yb-DZEuNbii5HdvA5zLRpCu8gF68smmL-c1fUp1-LXy3hSaIqRaiiP27-8kgoDkEPGLDSbpKv7GqHu8gXGvsIEDm0y1IrXAtyLNmjz4gb1ZNaDVhKLbAURx58H54CDnCNyB7WOFyJtJmDddQvT9l97xjrZQZxqj8JWmgIYpXf7AO7uD18uLDp5_IuwG_pYc2FkzhnptXrWuSU17MmFz1Wd7X173CLllkyw5nSb6VzhBOEky5IVIHrN109-lenbNm9Y2gkSvtruX=w1024-h683-no
  • BBQ kitchens and solar-heated swimming pool;
    external image Znf8fCD9uek4W_WAPJHZ1PaWY-9GLbAheR6MXt3qOIs5sfd-WxWrb5ClNRpgh4fCRBaYqLaH_TamBT4p028hSxjsC5AIGaciLqNLVNpmr4rCzNWlVcREjMvTl4GIfRaFKT3VFWlNJACE0wcuQNHuVH79ZcWcVDpXQvZsPjxg8bjcEofiq2onAwNcjDIxoEVbNTJZlYQKf4ooHaA3SffTHhaEtKCm9bikNFXeOv7HZLxF2QW5HOMs4WqSivw4euzQKhXtorcLVDTpaR1mSD-3aBhVgAheLkFZv9yHNzz4Bnv337NaQfpZM-H761o7rxW22P6a1JVCtZHcPOxEzYuEfMuf0FPAo4q1S1F1vSF9IDP7JjsqEt2Bo7EwSK77DnuCJicrxxD2SmzftxHOyK7Pk_LKmRbrJx0l-ONKQXVYHDQ2sNipaADFSLYBKLbFADxyYFTbrPOS_QMw3Nq5it8yDC85LUFaPTlUsv3IF0bicyKA6s9XWnEEtSbALjda6FU63uyTpCVmJD3eBU_TJpcmp9CIQLJv3vSAnGImLJ3rQ16ijT5qnmSuqwAztMcHC6fQZeGI7eROUllRpqlVr4pu5X0w-5ircEfv=w800-h600-no
  • 4/5 BRs (ensuite to main),external image X8NIkJAHdUFFaI4AsVC6nmxeFNNtYo9q_KQrp8H3NAYetDdjNqw8cB-v8ZnNMxWKr5q_3V56pkuE0U3aD_4zpkXzRuQs7Q_VdbF1EvF_vUnkYh7kQ7qSq1-gE1YBHDXEsu4_fMgkd6mnfMl0XeUAVBVY7pIMdTs8mj40M2msHJ4oqHSMo0ARa09N_TdxG56p0ijzeMZ33_CIw_uwFnhG24jk81CjkNnBOBX6NjhRE5CC9E0p1c8HbyDPIr1bYrbIEJM8_r75eegM50DjVkpWrrcYJE_GCMIYbzvP8vkOjCF4Kbp0lByZ6oiea2fJBHaXEUsmHWKTw3TwNJvh9AXANAxBF7lSFfFpj4ZPGhmPAJZSkF0aMI-eZQBzwoa6ZoEIdZDfvVm2QVUFBP0ZStid6ZBJZ578m9ri7mJzwTI0twULepwpA-AsBlGN6EPpSlhwJawkhEjpisjjYWw2kUA7v-duNEm7x8nxlxMzlgpByknaaYPmSzGErkXNzbCr388EeAU7z0G8Zn_iMJNXmrytGDKj6gbz2OflZJWmAKhKiN7X6YaCz1podWkrjvX2KsAU-gFG-NwG4rzm-tPtz2I1sxhAfcWZ7Qa9=w800-h600-no
    external image WtH6rTyCB23X81lyCXFR9NJ5OOM1vcHNSQ20E-L_5jveYcAqGo-EQ2uwzQgwwWL4JVUCUFCZ9rCke-C1cfnt1dMcE7L3ej5rdC-FIJ1S0waOYkFH0mXsK4ihbnhkbq4VBTjc3iLxvdRXP7nI1FjCedmz4ADDR0VUGREPT33CQkaioCVhqRtNQlhzR4C41X1dgBodwoX8RUnog4BOghLcQE01Or0KSjGgcEw79VP5LBjuRCXQxOxLEbNFpvH-qgAIg_FJY8q6D9fr8fvJ_eoMOmuzf2zkbOeygYnemqGhPBXfw0jSjIbDavGb6-JeDdsXc070w5BSiC4QhUXHyT1yivT1hfATveTGGk2cFWoQVTXFNYFDZn4Bch7jUr1xg83cNTQHzk5jeRvtNcuD-BPHiJRUe-ZWQODCJJy1L6lspFfccCKatBvxv6QgLx7t1lfaBz6O7KxMfpcB9rA_8aBpl6bHbfR8ljNL5kz0KJY4PrrJ1iaXrscYeaGPmUF1PbQBuqixKV8Frj12ksJ1PdF5Ti38yHWqaY7LfqJxfxWDvxN57MYZJu-ffB0KL9xxfSG8Sdrmw0cry-Qtu65D52DPJ2o82hsI2hri=w800-h600-no
  • bespoke kitchen with state-of-the-art fittings;
  • 3 further bathrooms, attic and 'Widow's Walk' lookout, plus extensive al fresco entertaining areas, swimming pool, gym, cellar and 6-car garage.
    external image 2Sg3fwEBp6zl96Qav9GdN0Q-TzKimQJaFyIclzuCNnilJ0dJVlJFo-Riwyv-_NXmM5e4iOA1RQZnvTPkgYNIDSVS_EU5cJ4DSk2bsp50OyMP9xRMvDXaf1PDAlzvPF8MKg1lp6hk3dd8xiRCuwM3C75JO8mEViKfLn-IbF81P06i6p05lOJSi_gDgGyt6mSkdEoyTqq4Zo1gBD4xzw3uLl88iERoiz2fOaCOKUomffUf6eebWEliosfk38nUc3DWFetgptN8jCTX8PP8m29a-OxX_wA0x4Eoncd_8PBZRfkmE1AqXZGVNYJY2xwQ7UWTCEloVj1QUJGWxA1WU13pWex8jcbxSvttIxHmeLSfACmUDy6DPB4MX4wXvA3gRv5vAKXt0qJ70YAwvwl9KI_dMgfRbOeoK4LeoCuDjTUWGEsjqJuEydZXx0XsV9zyeGeKj4lqqtDZadHlMeKQnPit8K9fkwyOB1rJ3gSDlu1AKDhvHTFs3jnRGxub-FE63Cq9cUpFJpOvu2TWzoU3NFW4xMRwT6JaZEalWlxh0vnfD8OyRIoTkeyBhXnm24LCA4Vb-lr18U1sf4tvHjoLVGcgYYkzAUQfFNf7=w800-h600-no
    external image fPqXRoFOrrQs1w1big9ocWL514r0KwvoANBfmqoUE1Z040fm3XyzwNHoubQj6z4Jp6dnp0JfV59VZMz4_O3-7zqV_S5jSoYKDH4ZKBkTtfYkvslnzXyXkmt2E8HuWvZHFJ8HIxDRhd6P8mxkwyTWjkR9Qi8maRcYDCEunI3TaIao12MGuY4SKyorV3RKHn57rLFvYyQQCO0tf_sccVBrofWM50v0O9dScJmuhCg5pbjoVvG83FcOPYUm-0HZn8UvANBa-9L5csSTTawJ3xDfvEHhuclXRwEN-n3T_GkMZOBVv0-L2t7G403ROcY2GTkULVmAXkLU0xoNQdRSeb5DKjJLc6zBWIvmpnvRPn2PZpO4PDuEj_e9lSirjyipMXf6lsCPFLZi8LrRxzg0dIwDoUVI8JaoiZte782whsCNg9s7LCZiW5MvqcyI86pvdKkhpca0KvuHNcCpl2wKrsiBzk0U3B3DfrdpZ1Mb54p3B-0jpehD3qUk_Kj-AnDU5KtzU4cDTeSPG4PWBIgBOv_sD1kaafwOIpqNyuWNzgb73B1beKqjA2xwkRH2Z2cx7Uy4i_V2cVbUtUt6lgi1eFj5NNqIiUmB9rhf=w800-h600-no
    external image cPYLQZqxtLb4lUx3823z9y4hcxDpJ8gkCYhY-gM2nOHdGyn6E5tp3WOVW_UaWVke5TWcMrrracka00_Ohdtt_Dtlzph6ESMWrr2LyweYBxO3WROM7LqAxHIs09hfh-8d4JL_7oSTsYIGkhscXnNr2gbFatieo0lVba2cQAAe271uJESfqxbF_cXYzRoDORwEX2K1vugbx85gUbosjnE57q62YD6ni1Vv5t2ZxEBPqo3TE62pT_fjpvkUd1E3sJjF3prJJxjbC4QFCPervaUiVP7c_sWhxS-oPg_CcFPoSBwG_34Jk058qVJHxQKB0j0IAE4XHm8S3T7KZQz2ntTn0JaYpb8K3UgL7DBZFE7QxdygzdmXwciF-CumdOc3JNTmx3wYd6G5bp_Ju8DpU30jrCG3pNHMnjByacPp2zJU9eeneH5KLs8h7SLkEYG9ZdHxojD_x28CbccArsolb2074iRx1UoZV58XD6Dwjckf8vn97gEDV3h3tOVtWwR6CHrVLEihT9fVkHhVC89KTDZ7A8OHuPo-JmQY7XtkSn-TxKfNgxCEZIp-WcbmpL6E_GtmQnn4wN-2E1TZF_QdFZbS1hFJ3mMKKylR=w1228-h868-no

Further reading: