Ruskin Rowe Heritage Conservation Area | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Ruskin Rowe Heritage Conservation Area

Item details

Name of item: Ruskin Rowe Heritage Conservation Area
Type of item: Conservation Area
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: Ruskin Rowe, Avalon Beach, NSW 2107
Parish: Narrabeen
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Pittwater
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Ruskin RoweAvalon BeachPittwaterNarrabeenCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The Ruskin Rowe Heritage Conservation Area is significant in the evolution and pattern of the history of New South Wales for its design principles and patterns that are still clearly legible.

The street is named after Harry Ruskin Rowe, a prominent Sydney architect who subdivided the area in 1950. Rowe's vision was to create a special subdivision with large lots in which vegetation would dominate over houses. This area represents the most "pure" example of the character of residential developments which were occurring in the Avalon area after WWII. Ruskin Rowe has research potential for its innovative subdivision design and is also scientifically significant due to the low density nature of the area and the retention of a wide range of fauna, including koalas, bandicoots and native birds.
Date significance updated: 09 Jan 15
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Designer/Maker: Harry Ruskin Rowe
Construction years: 1950-
Physical description: The first section of Ruskin Rowe runs southwest from Avalon Parade to Elouera Road, then continues for a short distance west before curving again to the southwest and continuing in that direction, terminating in a loop at its southern end. The original subdivision lots are arranged on either side of this central thoroughfare and are long rectangular parcels with houses set well back from the street with a mix of sweeping lawns, remnant native trees and in many cases dense landscaping. The relatively few lots subdivided since 1950 are battleaxe subdivisions of some of the earlier lots.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Varies but most properties within area appear well maintained.
Date condition updated:18 Feb 13
Current use: Residential

History

Historical notes: The area was subdivided in 1950 by Harry Ruskin Rowe, a prominent Sydney architect of the early 20th century. His vision was to create a special subdivision, with very large size lots to enable the vegetation to dominate over the houses.

To ensure that his original intent was realised, he placed a number of restrictive covenants on the 43 lots, to ensure that no more than one residential dwelling could be built on each lot. The area is relatively intact, with only five additional lots being created over 44 years.

There were a number of submarine sightings during World War II in Pittwater and barbed wire was placed along every beach except Newport. The Green Hornets of the 7th Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps camped in Warriewood Valley during this period and Mona Vale, south of La Corniche, was a camp for trainee machine gunners. Ruskin Rowe at Avalon hosted the Sundown RAAF Camp, who were trained by Nancy Bird Walton. The building was demolished to build home units after 1953 (Source: Pittwater Online News, June 19 - 25, 2011, Issue 11).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Ruskin Rowe is significant in the evolution and pattern of the history of New South Wales for its design principles and patterns that are still clearly legible. Ruskin Rowe is significant in the evolution and pattern of the history of New South Wales as an example of forward-thinking subdivision design in the mid-20th Century.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The area has strong associations with Harry Ruskin Rowe, a prominent Sydney architect who subdivided the area in 1950 and after whom the subdivision and thoroughfare are named.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Rowe's vision was to create a special subdivision with large lots in which vegetation would dominate over houses. This area represents the most "pure" example of the character of residential developments which were occurring in the Avalon area after WWII.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Ruskin Rowe has research potential as an example of subdivision design. It is also scientifically significant due to the low density nature of the area and the retention of a wide range of fauna, including koalas, bandicoots and native birds.
Integrity/Intactness: The area is relatively intact, with only five additional lots being created over 44 years.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

The area’s character should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Impact Statement should be prior to any major works being undertaken on properties within the Conservation Area. Photographic Archival Recording should be undertaken before major changes in accordance with the NSW Heritage Office guidelines for Photographic Recording of Heritage Items using Film or Digital Capture (2006).

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementNo Action, follow existing management contols20 Sep 12

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  04 Feb 94   
Local Environmental PlanPittwater LEP 2014227010027 Jun 14   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
 1989vol. 3Barrenjoey Peninsula & Pittwater Heritage Study  No
Pittwater Community Based Heritage Study Review2015 City Plan Heritage  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenJan Roberts1999Avalon Landscape & Harmony
WrittenScott Carver Pty Ltd1994Heritage Assessment: Ruskin Rowe Avalon

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2270100


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