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Restoration of a Heritage House

Part Two

Our new home was given heritage status due to its historic and aesthetic significance within a conservation area of Sydney.

  • It has been described as an excellent example of a single storeyed plus basement c. 1915-1920s house.

  • The building retains its original form, character and detailing including slate tiled wide gabled roof, face brickwork, a double gable feature, timber brackets and a large beam.

  • Other features include a front verandah supported on short stone columns and a brick balustrade with stone trim, timber framed multi paned leadlight casement windows and glass panelled doors with side lights.

  • The lower ground floor has two stone arches and keystones, brick walls and leadlight windows. The building makes a positive contribution to the streetscape.

The site and building are of local significance as a good intact example of a single storey with basement house designed in the Inter-war period.

  • As a heritage listed house, the architectural detailing and decorative elements must be conserved.

  • The form, scale and character of the building, together with its curtilage and streetscape presentation is to be maintained.

  • The major garden elements are to be retained, including significant tress, retaining walls and stairs.

My enquiries and research have revealed the estate was first subdivided in 1911 and later in 1919.

  • Our block was purchased by a builder who applied to erect a two-storey house, consisting of 9 rooms, in 1925.

  • He occupied the house from 1927 and the house changed hands on his death in 1930.

  • I have also discovered that the house has had its name changed. I plan to apply to Heritage to change the house back to its original name.

  • My research is ongoing and I hope to meet with a previous owner who lived in the house 70 years ago.

  • We plan to restore many of the original elements, based on photos I have been sent and found online.

  • This includes the front garden; the tangle of plants will be returned to a grassed lawn. We have been told that this is where people used to play croquet.

Our plan is to restore the unique features of our home, whilst updating elements such as bathrooms and the kitchen.

  • Our initial projects include repair of damaged elements such as the parquet floors, changing the paint colours of the walls to warm tones and new window dressings.

  • The upstairs rooms all have ceiling fans. These will be replaced with Art Deco light fittings.

  • I have been fortunate to be able to source a few second-hand light fittings, but the remainder will need to be reproduction lights.

Federation Arts and Crafts is a style that highlights craftsmanship.

  • There was a movement in the late 19th century to re-establish the skills of craftsmanship threatened by mass production and industrialisation.

  • Architecture of this movement included the use of traditional building crafts, the use of local materials and was free of any imposed style.

  • The movement emphasised clarity of form and structure, the use of a variety of materials, traditional construction and craftsmanship.

Characteristic Arts and Crafts features displayed in our home:

  • A dominant slate tiled roof, displaying deep eaves and exposed rafter ends.

  • Gable ends covered with rough hand cut timber shingles

  • Simplicity in design, with wide hallways, plain square edged picture rails, skirtings and mouldings

  • Dark wood wainscoting and mouldings

  • Use of local materials such as wood, sandstone, marble and brick

  • Stone porch supports and thick square brick columns

  • Attention to decorative details such as brass door furniture and hand carved detail in the banister rails.

  • Features that highlight unique fine art craftsmanship in the windows with leaded glass, handmade ceramic tiles and individualised decorative fireplaces.

  • Built in furniture including window seats

  • Both beamed and decorative molded ceilings

See also - Part One - Another Federation House Renovation Challenge

Updated: May 22 2021

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