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  • Writer's pictureJon Ruwolt

Heritage Qld mansion Kurrowah

Known as ‘Kurrowah’, this historic Brisbane residence sits on Dutton Park’s largest land holding, with expansive views towards Mt Coot-tha. 'Kurrowah', completed in 1918, was constructed with the finest materials shipped from France and Italy.

A local landmark on an elevated site, this grand home offers panoramic views over the city with plenty of room to kick back and relax .

  • ‘Kurrowah’ was designed by renowned architect Lang Powell, known for the public buildings he designed, in particular St Martin’s hospital and the Masonic Temple in Ann Street.

  • He was president of the Queensland Institute of Architects from 1927 to 1931, and played an active role in setting up the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

The home itself, is up for auction in impeccable condition – in stark contrast to when it last changed hands in 2013. The vendor hadn’t been looking for a renovation project when he bought the home.

  • Owner Maurice Lane hadn’t originally been looking for a renovation project.

  • “I wasn’t on the market looking for a house at all, and certainly not at this size,” he said.

  • Mr Lane had seen it advertised, thought it looked interesting and then realised it was next to his grandfather’s former home – and so went and had a look,

  • eventually buying it at auction from the 95-year-old owner.

  • Be greeted by an imposing hallway boasting rich timber accents and soaring decorative ceilings.

  • Extending through the length of the house, the hallway leads to defined formal and casual living and entertaining spaces.

  • The main living areas depict the style and craftsmanship of the era in which this home was built, with rich timber panelling, ornate fireplaces, exposed beams and intricate plaster detailing features throughout.

  • Galleries of windows maximise the natural light and cooling breezes throughout the home, while

  • French doors open at several points to an extensive verandah overlooking the expansive grounds and further, on to the rolling panoramic Brisbane landscape.

  • There are six bedrooms positioned to allow optimal privacy for the entire family. This includes an oversized master retreat, echoing the classic styling that features throughout.

  • The oversized master retreat, with classic styling has French doors flowing to the extensive verandah overlooking the grounds and across Brisbane.

  • This exceptional home also offers a large light-filled kitchen that looks out on expansive views towards Mt Coot-tha.

  • The sunsets from here are nothing short of spectacular.

  • There is the quintessential family room, with plenty of space for informal dining and family get-togethers.

  • It is arguable which is the showpiece of this remarkable home: is it the sumptuous music conservatory with intricate parquetry floor, timber panelling and ornate ceiling,

or is it the formal lounge room, whose charm and elegance have not diminished since it was built over a century ago.

This wasn’t Maurice Lane's first visit to the "renovation rodeo" — he had also worked on a huge old Queenslander in Norman Park — but the run-down six bedroom home at Dutton Park was a challenge on a whole new level.

  • “I remember, two weeks after I bought it, I thought ‘I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life’,” Mr Lane said. “There was so much work to be done.

  • “It was in terrible condition. But the good thing was — and this is what clinched the deal for me — no previous owners had done renovations to it, so it was all very original,” he added.

  • “It was really just major, major cosmetic surgery, and the bones of it were still perfect.”

  • With a really good team around him with experience working with grand old houses, the home’s restoration proceeded without a hitch.

In February 1909 the Queensland Figaro reported that "Mr Frank Brodribb has purchased 'Linden', Gladstone Road, a handsome residence with charming grounds, occupied for some time by Mr and Mrs Pickworth.

  • Mr Brodribb with his family will shortly take up residence there".

  • Titles show that the 2-acre-2-rood-18+1⁄2-perch (1.059 ha) property was purchased in his wife's name, Jessie Scott Brodribb, in November 1908.

  • The Brodribb family was part of Brisbane's upper stratum of society, which at this time still comprised graziers, leading businessmen and professional men.

  • Frank Kenric Brodribb was the son of Darling Downs property-owner Francis Claudius Brodribb, whose sheep station, "Kurrowah", was located between Millmerran and Cecil Plains.

  • The elder Brodribb died in 1904 leaving a considerable estate, including his station, in trust for his four daughters and only son.

Social occasions and fund-raising events held at Kurrowah were often centred on the garden; with guest lists including the state's social elite.

  • In January 1915, architectural firm Chambers and Powell called tenders "for the erection and completion of [a] Brick Residence, Gladstone-road".

  • Drawings for its construction and that of a garage with pit, man's room, workshop, washing down shed and WC date the design to January 1914.

In February 1916, the Brodribb's land was re-configured from three blocks to two with the former "Linden" (labelled `Old House') on the block to the east (Resub 2, 1ac 19.7p (4545m2)) and a "New House" on the block to the west (Resub 1, 1 acre (0.40 ha) 1 rood 34 perches (1,900 m2)).

Now with every fan, light and window stripped back and working perfectly, he’s very happy with the result.

  • “The room I love the most is what they used to call the drawing room – it’s really like the formal loungeroom,” he said, describing it as a quiet, beautiful space with stunning original workmanship.

  • So why sell? “Reality has set in – it’s too big!” Mr Lane explained. “I feel like I’m a Mr Havisham from Great Expectations.” “The people I bought it off had eight children living in the house,” he added.

He thought it would probably suit another nice family, and said that the house would definitely be sold on or before the auction.

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