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  • Writer's pictureJon 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.

He’d loved the home’s “magic site” atop a sloping hillside, offering views over the treetops towards the Dandenongs.

He will continue to enjoy the surrounds from Desbrowe-Annear’s own house next door, where his mother-in-law had lived until her recent death, and to which he and Jane have now turned their attentions.

"Le Fanu" at Cottesloe is a 125-year-old Perth home that underwent a $12m renovation, now for Sale.

The 125-year-old, heritage-listed home, known as Le Fanu, was derelict with crumbling limestone walls, a collapsing roof, rotting flooring, shattered floor tiles and graffiti until a mystery buyer (a philanthropist connected to the mining industry?) purchased it in 2009 with the determination – and the dollars – to bring it back to life.

The $12 million restoration project was carried out by Zorzi Builders and was designed by architect Ian Hocking, who is one of WA’s best-known heritage practitioners.

Le Fanu was built as a single-storey holiday cottage with five rooms for the manager of the Western Australian Bank, Henry Diggins Holmes, his wife Marion and their children, in 1893 and it was then known as Banksia.

Le Fanu, on the beach at Cottesloe W.A.

The Federation Queen Anne style home was among one of Cottesloe’s first residences when built and underwent considerable alterations from 1898 to 1900.

A $12 million renovation has made a landmark on the Cottesloe beachside

Returned to its original glory, it has since been restored to the highest standard by the renowned Zorzi Homes – Perth’s luxury home builder, arguably one of the most difficult and impressive restorations of a heritage home ever seen.

No expense has been spared in the meticulous design, which blends grand historic architecture with timeless luxury living and 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom accommodation.

Zorzi Homes received many awards at the 2015 Master Builders WA – Bankwest Housing Excellence Awards including Australian Winner – Alterations and Additions, Best Alterations and Additions and Silver Trowel Award – Excellence in Brickwork

Interior detail of Le Fanu, Cottesloe

Within, the home presents a symphony of marble, timber, glass and light. Grand ceilings, soaring columns and marble floors evoke opulence, enhanced by restored original features which ensure “Le Fanu” remains tied to its storied past.

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