Marne Street

Castle Towers Marne Street South Yarra

A quick glance down Marne Street from Fawkner Park and you could be forgiven for thinking it was just an average street. However, the old adage about judging a book by its cover becomes apparent a mere few metres past the Toorak Road corner. Named after a world war one battle, Marne Street is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious locations in all of Melbourne running between The Royal Botanic Gardens and Fawkner Park.

The site of ‘Maritimo’ at the Fawkner Park end of Marne Street was the home of the late Mr J. S. W Payne. ‘Maritimo’ was noted for its beautiful grounds, exquisite furnishings and appointments as well as for the generous hospitality of the owner. It was in compliance with an instruction in his will that the house was demolished and unusual trouble was taken by the vendors to clear the land for subdivision. A new thoroughfare, an extension of Marne Street, was constructed through the grounds from Toorak Road giving access to Domain Road and this other preparatory work cost nearly three thousand pounds.

Although bidding was slow at the outset the first offers were substantial and afterwards the sale proceeded briskly. The three allotments sold in Toorak Road had frontages of 70’x140′. Two realized forty seven pounds a foot and one forty five pounds a foot. The blocks facing Marne Street each 68’x140′ were sold at from thirty five pounds to forty pounds a foot, the majority realizing from thirty seven to thirty nine pounds a foot. The purchaser of the two lots at forty seven pounds a foot was a well known city merchant. The twenty four blocks were auctioned in 1928 and The Argus reports that four hundred to five hundred people attended the auction conducted by Charles Forrester of Charles Forrester and Co. Several notable apartment blocks eventuated from the subdivision:

This three-storied block of six apartments was constructed in 1929-30 at a cost of £10,600; it was an expensive block with large rooms and top of the line fixtures and fittings. With Mediterranean styling – features include loggias on the ground and first-floors, an upper-level veranda with pergola, and render decoration.


“CASTLE TOWERS” at 11-21 Marne Street built in 1941-42 by Arthur Plaisted, is recognised as one of the finest examples of art deco architecture in Melbourne, although when it was constructed not everybody was a fan and it was the subject of much debate at the time of building. This five storied block has 40 apartments and a roof garden with views to the south.


Recent Property Sales up Your Street

 8/51 Marne Street South Yarra $885,000 1 June 2018
7/51 Marne Street South Yarra $865,000 28 April 2018
5/45 Marne Street South Yarra $6,125,000 9 March 2018
1/35 Marne Street South Yarra $1,675,000 25 July 2017

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