• Jon Ruwolt

'Chadwick' and 'Le Fanu' are 'Architectural Treasures' for sale

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

In Victoria, architect Peter Crone's painstaking restoration of the Desbrow-Anear Chadwick House in Eaglemont, is now for sale after a three-decades of labour-of-love for this Art Nouveau treasure.

Peter Crone at the Chadwick House in 2008, when his painstaking restoration won a prestigious architecture award.

Chadwick House at 32-34 The Eyrie, Eaglemont is for sale for the first time in three decades.

Influential architect Harold Desbrowe-Annear designed the ahead-of-its-time residence at 32-34 The Eyrie in 1904 for his father-in-law James Chadwick.

The Heritage Council of Victoria describes Desbrowe-Annear as “instrumental in introducing the open-plan form into Australian domestic architecture”.

Peter Crone and his wife bought the run-down property in July 1988 for $715,000, and have been restoring and enhancing it ever since.

They’ve now listed the property with a $3.15-$3.35 million price guide — to move next door and renovate another house in the Desbrowe-Annear trio, known as Annear, built by Harold Desbrowe-Annear as his own residence.

Peter Crone's painstaking renovation — stage one of which won the prestigious John George Knight Award for Heritage Architecture in 2008 — involved stripping back any unsympathetic additions to the house and restoring or replacing original features.

“I reinstated about 19 original windows that had all been changed,” he said.

“And the main sitting room, the largest room in the house, had all its Californian redwood panelling (and) an original fireplace taken out. It took about a year to redo the whole room.”

Mr Crone had limited information about the original state of the residence and had to “crawl in the roof and under the house” to determine its design roots.