• Jon Ruwolt

The steadfast allure of Sydney’s Federation homes

By Danielle Giannopoulos Editorial Producer Domain.com.au March 27, 2020

As the name suggests, Federation architecture was conceived in the decades before and after Australia’s Federation in 1901 as a departure from British designs.

Breezy timber lattice verandahs were built for enjoying our warmer weather, and waratahs and kookaburras featured in stained-glass windows celebrated our native flora and fauna.

More than 100 years later and much to the delight of buyers, Federation houses still remain in Sydney due to diligent heritage protection.

Tim Smith, director of heritage operations at Heritage NSW, says history-rich homes are vital to our community, and it’s no surprise that they remain popular with buyers.

“People like heritage character and are drawn to suburbs that have those fabulous design details, materials and craftsmanship that add so much to a place and its feel,” Smith says.

Heritage-listed Appian Way in Burwood is home to some of the finest in the inner west.

On the North Shore of Sydney, Kuring-gai Avenue in Turramurra ranks alongside pockets of Wahroonga and Killara, that they proudly sport some of the best Federation heritage homes on the upper north shore, while on the lower north shore there are Federation homes of a grand scale in Mosman and Neutral Bay.

Smith says studies of community attitudes to heritage-protected Federation homes suggest the homes do retain their value over time and investing in their restoration only increases their market appeal.

  • He says home owners often assume owning and maintaining an older house requires more effort, but those who are drawn to the charm of living inside an original Federation home will find it’s not the case.