‘Loren’ Iron House

Loren, which is on the Victorian Heritage Register and the Register of the National Estate, and owned by The National Trust, is historically important as a rare type of iron prefabricated building and one of only a few (and the only one of two-storeys) remaining in Victoria. It was erected in 1853 at 62 Curzon Street, North Melbourne for builder James Hogg. He was responsible for the erection of many prefabricated iron stores in Melbourne.

From 1854 until 1968, there were eleven owner-occupiers of Loren. The Sheppard family occupied the house for the longest period from 1892 to 1935, and James J. Sheppard ran a cabinet making and house renovating business from the address. There is a photograph of his son Percy Thomas Sheppard on display. By 1968 the building had greatly deteriorated and the building’s removal was required for redevelopment of the North Melbourne site. The developers of the land donated the old building to the National Trust instead of demolishing it. When interest was shown in the building by the City of Moe for their new heritage park, it was dismantled and moved to Old Gippstown, where it was re-erected and restored.

The building consists of a sitting room and open kitchen/fireplace area downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs. On display there is a framed, conserved sample of the original wallpaper found on the wall under the stairs. The artefacts and furniture pertaining to the building’s era have in part been donated by the National Trust, including a set of original Thonet bentwood chairs.

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