• Jon Ruwolt

'Feniton' the home of Edward Theodore, Queensland’s premier, heritage listed

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

The Queensland Heritage Council has listed a Robin Dods-designed Federation-style house on its register.

Originally known as “Feniton” and built in 1906-07, the house is sited on a 1,292-square-metre block at 388 Bowen Terrace in the inner-Brisbane suburb of New Farm. The site has a second frontage on Oxley Lane at the rear. From 1916 to 1927, it was the home of Edward Granville Theodore, Queensland’s premier from 1919 to 1925.

According to its heritage statement, “Feniton is important in demonstrating the lifestyle of Brisbane’s prosperous elite in the inner suburbs of Brisbane during the early 20th century.”

The house is set back 25 metres from Bowen Terrace and is surrounded by large gardens at the front and rear. The highset timber house has verandahs on three sides and a steeply pitched roof with projecting brick chimneys.

“Feniton is important for its Federation aesthetic, successfully combining Arts and Crafts and Classical elements in a pleasingly proportioned asymmetrical highset house with dominant roof, wide verandahs, piazza with a northeast aspect, and visually firm connection to the ground.

Largely intact, it demonstrates, internally and externally, fine architectural quality and skilful arrangement of generous and refined formal and informal spaces that evoke a sense of an earlier, gracious lifestyle.”

Dods, who trained as an architect in Scotland and England, was known for combining the British Arts and Crafts style with the building traditions of Queensland to meet the climatic requirements of a subtropical environment.