Evander McIver

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Evander McIver
Died28 June 1902 (aged 68)
BuildingsScots Uniting Church Albany W.A., North Melbourne Presbyterian Church 1879, Brunswick Uniting (Presbyterian) Church, South Essendon (Primitive) Methodist Church, Camperdown Presbyterian Church 1901, St. Cuthbert's Church Brighton, Kew Presbyterian Church,[1] Union Memorial Church 1887,[2] St Andrews Presbyterian Church Queenscliff 1892, and Broadmeadows District Roads Board Office.

Evander McIver (1834 – 28 June 1902)[3] was an Australian architect, engineer and surveyor. McIver is best known for a number of Gothic Revival, mostly Presbyterian churches he designed in Melbourne, Australia, during the "boom" era of the 1880s.

Early life[edit]

Evander McIver was born in 1835 in Assynt, in the north west of Scotland. He was the son of a crofter and mason, Kenth McIver. Evander initially trained as a stonemason then the manager of the Duke of Sutherland’s estates, recognised his talent and assisted him to be trained in architectural studies.[4] He later became an architect and worked at Inverness, Scotland before migrating to Australia in 1864 aboard the London when he was about 30. McIver lived in Park Street, Brunswick and was a prominent member of St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Brunswick where a memorial plaque to him is placed on the west wall of the church).[5]


McIver appears to have begun his career as Clerk and Surveyor for the Broadmeadows District Roads Board in 1865. In the following year he may have designed the bluestone and granite office building for the Board, which stands in Ardlie Street West Meadows.[6] as well as secretary and engineer to the shire of Broadmeadows, he was also consulting engineer to the municipalities of Brunswick, Essendon, Flemington and Kensington, and North Melbourne.

As an engineer he was responsible for the Moonee Ponds Creek Bridge in Fawkner Street Westmeadows in 1869,[7] and the Bell Street Bridge in Coburg in 1880.[8] In 1872 McIver called tenders for a bluestone tower at the Glenara homestead in Bulla which had been designed by Albert Purchas. A major commission was the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Sydney Rd, Brunswick in 1880.[9] This was followed by a polychrome brick church in the form of the South Essendon (Primitive) Methodist Church in Mt Alexander Road, Essendon in 1882[10] and St Andrews Presbyterian Church Kerang.[11]

Rare examples of his domestic commissions are the villa Doneraile in Camberwell, which is "a prototype for the emerging Federation villa",[12] and ‘Tiri-Tiri’ at 46 Kyarra Road, Glen Iris[13] One of his few works outside Victoria was the Scots Uniting Church in Albany Western Australia.[14]

In 1887 McIver had offices in the Western Market Buildings, 439 Collins Street Melbourne and in the 1890s he had an office on the 5th floor of the Australian Buildings at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Flinders Lane in Melbourne.[15]

Major works[edit]

  • 1874 Brick and Stone Bridge over Merri Creek Northcote[16]
  • 1879 Union Memorial Presbyterian Church, Curzon & Elm Sts. North Melbourne (competition winner)
  • 1884 Presbyterian Church, Park Street, West Brunswick
  • 1887 Presbyterian Church, Kew[17]
  • 1887 St Cuthbert's Presbyterian Church, Brighton[18]
  • 1887 Presbyterian Church, Clifton Hill
  • 1887 Presbyterian Manse, Dandenong (demolished)
  • 1890-1 Residence and stabling, Brunswick
  • 1892 Brick Presbyterian Church, Clifton Hill[4]
  • 1893 Rebuilding of Junction Hotel, Tullamarine
  • 1896 Manse of Brunswick Presbyterian Church, Park St. West Brunswick.
  • 1900 Presbyterian Church, Ngambie, red brick [19]

Personal life[edit]

McIver was a staunch member of the Presbyterian Church, and a well known and respected resident of Brunswick, Victoria. He was married three times, with his third wife, Margaret Williams (1857–1934) surviving him along with several children by his second and third wives. He was first married in 1864 to Catherine Ann Clunas (1839–1874).[20] Catherine died in 1874,[21] and McIver then married (Mary Louisa Buzaglo),[20][22] daughter of William Frederick Buzaglo, the secretary of the Shire of Coburg.[23] When Mary died, he dedicated a stained glass window in the Brunswick Presbyterian Church to her, which reads “In Sacred Memory of Mary Louisa Buzaglo, the beloved wife of Evander McIver – a dutiful daughter, and affectionate sister, a faithful friend, a devoted mother, a loving wife, a consistent Christian. Died 1st October, 1887”.[22]

He lived out his retirement in his home 'Glen-Iver' in a grand two storey Italianate villa in Park Street, Brunswick, which he designed and still stands. He died on 28 June 1902 at his home and was buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery.[24] His son Gordon John Kennedy McIver was a prominent surgeon in World War 1.[25]


  1. ^ A CHECKLIST OF ROMANESQUE-INSPIRED ARCHITECTURE IN AUSTRALIA Part 1: New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory compiled by John W. East 2016
  2. ^ The North Melbourne Advertiser, Saturday 3rd March 1888, page 2
  3. ^ Evander McIVER Tania Dennis May 26, 2012
  4. ^ a b Half-drowned or Half-baked: Essays in the history of North Fitzroy, p.116, citing Julie Selmon, ‘Evander McIver’ (BArch undergraduate thesis, University of Melbourne 1987). edited by Miles Lewis for the Fitzroy Historical Society and City of Yarra 2017
  5. ^ St Andrew’s Uniting (formerly Presbyterian) Church Sydney Road, Brunswick
  6. ^ 11 Ardlie Street, Westmeadows (old Broadmeadows shire hall, 1866), 2002
  7. ^ Bridge over Moonee Ponds Creek Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H1455
  8. ^ Victorian Heritage Database, Bell Street Bridge Coburg
  9. ^ Medievalism in Australian Cultural Memory, Brunswick Uniting Church, Victoria
  10. ^ Victorian Heritage Database
  11. ^ Flickr
  12. ^ 'Doneraile' Victorian Heritage Database
  13. ^ Heritage Citation Report
  14. ^ "Scots Uniting Church". Visit Albany. 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  15. ^ Australasian Builder and Contractor's News 5.7.1890, p 1186
  16. ^ City of Northcote Conservation Study Review 1991 (Graeme Butler & Associates) p.63
  17. ^ Kew Presbyterian Church (Vic.) (1934), Kew Presbyterian Church, Cotham Road, 1874 - 60 years - 1934 : Diamond jubilee celebrations commencing Sunday, 7th October, 1934 ... all welcome, The Church, retrieved 14 August 2019
  18. ^ "Beauty of Church Spires". The Argus (Melbourne) (25, 943). Victoria, Australia. 5 October 1929. p. 10 (The Argus Camera Supplement). Retrieved 14 August 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  19. ^ Julia Selmon, 'The use of Arcaded Facades', Research Report, Melb Uni 1974
  20. ^ a b Ancestry.com, Tracey family tree, Evander McIver - Facts
  21. ^ "Family Notices". The Argus (Melbourne) (8, 732). Victoria, Australia. 9 June 1874. p. 1. Retrieved 14 August 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  22. ^ a b The North Melbourne Advertiser, Saturday 3rd March 1888, page 2.
  23. ^ Illustrated Australian News 6 Oct 1875
  24. ^ "DEATH OF MR. EVANDER McIVER". The Coburg Leader. XXI, (24). Victoria, Australia. 28 June 1902. p. 1. Retrieved 14 August 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  25. ^ The Medical Journal of Australia, Volume 15 Australasian Medical Publishing Company, 1921

External links[edit]