Mid-century masterpieces: Robin Boyd time warp homes hit the market

Key points

  • Two unique houses designed by renowned mid-century architect Robin Boyd have hit the market.
  • The homes have only had two owners since being built in Long Forest in the 1960s.
  • They are known as significant designs in post-war architecture.

Property listings

Two famous mid-century houses on Melbourne’s fringe have hit the market near Bacchus Marsh, and buyers are already lining up to see through the masterpieces designed by renowned architect Robin Boyd.

The properties in Long Forest have only had two owners since being built and have been listed for sale with hopes totalling between $3.15 million and $3,465,000.

The five-bedroom plus study The Boyd Baker House at 305 Long Forest Road has been listed for $1.9 million to $2.09 million. It was built for the academic and mathematician Dr Michael Baker and his family between 1964 and 1966.

Boyd’s smaller, two-bedroom The Dower House, at 307 Long Forest Road, which includes a separate library designed by Sir Roy Grounds, has also been listed for sale at between $1.25 million and $1,375,000.

The Dower House was commissioned as a home for Baker’s mother-in-law shortly after The Baker House was completed, selling agent and Jellis Craig partner Michael Armstrong said.

The homes were being offered for sale separately, but could also be sold together, he said.

Both homes, with their distinctive geometric stone columns, sit on more than 12 hectares of land.

Armstrong said the Bakers sold the properties to architectural philanthropist and lawyer Peter Mitrakas and his wife, Mary Ann, in 2006. Records list Mary Ann Mitrakas as the owner.

The houses have been noted as some of the most significant post-war architectural designs and were heritage listed in 2007, after the Mitrakas put their case forward.

The couple later listed the properties for sale in 2014 and again in 2016, but decided not to sell, wanting to hold on to them and preserve their architectural significance, Armstrong said.

“The vendors are quite passionate owners of the Boyd properties and want to find the right buyer,” Armstrong said. “They have plans to reinstate an old property in Europe – one that’s around 300 years old – so they want to sell.”

Armstrong said heritage listed homes could get a mixed response from buyers in Melbourne, but the Boyd homes had already had a “tsunami” of interest from people who loved their mid-century look.

“There’s just so much recognition of the house and the design,” he said. “It’s just gone berserk the moment we listed online.”

Even those not in a financial position to buy wanted to take a look through, he said.

The homes are like being in a time warp with mid-century furniture inside.Credit:Jellis Craig

The homes present like a time warp, Armstrong said, as the Mitrakas family filled them with furniture from the 1960s.

“It’s like taking an authentic walk back in time,” Armstrong said.

The renowned properties have been used as the background of many bush weddings, where receptions were held in the properties’ stone-lined courtyards.

The homes are also listed on short stay rental sites, where The Boyd Baker House commands $1400 per night. The Dower House is listed for $480 per night.

People can stay overnight in the homes via short-stay rentals.Credit:Jellis Craig

Historic homes have been listed for sale in and around Bacchus Marsh over the past few years. In 2019, the Manor House, one of Victoria’s oldest homes, was listed for sale asking $1.45 million to $1.5 million. It was later withdrawn from sale.

In late 2020, the former Ballan post office, also a grand old Victorian-era home that was owned by the same family for 156 years, was listed for sale with hopes of $1.4 million. It was marked as sold online for an undisclosed price in May 2021.

The Boyd-designed homes are being sold via expressions of interest which close at 5pm on Thursday, April 13.

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