Item | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Item
Other name/s: Former Beulah Flats, Astoria Flats, Hotel Braeburn, Miami Private Hotel
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Flat
Primary address: 1 Waruda Street, Kirribilli, NSW 2061
Local govt. area: North Sydney


Exapnded visual curtilage over Sydney Harbour and toward sthe Sydney Harbour Bridge
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1 Waruda StreetKirribilliNorth Sydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The largest and one of the earliest flat buildings in this part of Kirribilli notable for having a roof top garden and private sea bath at time of construction. Its construction is associated with the wealthy identity and international speculator, Mary Helene de Massue Marquise de Ruvigny as well as designer Roscoe J. Collins. Socially significant as accommodation for social identities, wives of the military then later as WW II troops and then a boarding house. Now a substantial apartment building of architectural interest which is a harbour landmark.

Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include information on landscape significance, interiors or the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are updated by Council as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conversation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Date significance updated: 28 Aug 18
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: Roscoe J Collins
Construction years: 1908-1913
Physical description: o This building is designed in the Federation Romanesque style.

A five storey apartment block of substantial size on the waterfront at Kirribilli. Extensively refurbished in the early 1980s, the building retains its essential features externally despite the complete replacement of all window frames and external balustrades. The main features include a rusticated ashlar basement floor with semi-circular window openings, three facet bay windows stone sills and lintels on the ground floor and a stone string course which projects out to form verandahs set upon stone brackets. Entrance bay to Waruda Street has a triple Romanesque arched colonnade below a bracketed verandah, which carries the verandah above and verandah roof on square timber columns.
The apartments originally had 171 rooms. The Basement Level at water level had semi-circular windows, a lounge room, dining room, billiard room and private sea baths. The roof contained a 10,000 sq. foot roof garden with magnificent views across Sydney Harbour.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
By 1975, the building was declared unfit for human habitation and residents were made to leave.
In the 1980s refurbishments were undertaken including replacement of all window frames and balustrades in a contemporary style. ( The area was not a conservation area at this time.)
It is not know if any original interior decorative features are retained as no inspection has been undertaken.
Date condition updated:02 Oct 98
Current use: Residential private
Former use: Hotel, troop accommodation, boarding house


Historical notes: The lot was a part of the Beulah Estate, sold on September 30, 1905.
Originally called Beulah Flats and built early in the twentieth century by the internationally known identity and wealthy international speculator, Mary Helene de Massue Marquis de Ruvigny.
Left to her step daughter Mab McLachlan.
Renamed Astoria Flats.
1928- Sold to Emanuel Myerson for 22,500 pounds and the name changed to Hotel Braeburn
Name changed again to Miami Private Hotel
Used for WWII accommodation for troops.
Used as a boarding house.
1975 - Declared unfit for human habitation by North Sydney Council. Residents re-located. Left unoccupied.
1980s- Refurbished with replacement of all window and door frames. New balustrades. Converted to apartments and the name changed to Miami.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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]
Associative Regional. Representative Local.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Associative. State. Mary Helene (nee Mary Helene McMillan, of Tasmania) was a well-known identity, three times married and twice titled. As a rich international speculator she conceived the idea of constructing the 'Beulah' with a community roof garden and community swimming pool, a radical concept at its time when married to Mudgee 'Wool King' H C White, brother of James White, MLC, resident and owner of Cranbrook, Rose Bay, and owner of the famous racehorse 'Carbine' as well as many other famous horses.
In 1910 she married Karl Birger Morner, Count in the Swedish Diplomatic Service, who she later divorced. Mary Helene's third marriage was to the Marquis de Ruvigny , a French noble. She is also notable for being the owner of Scotland Island, north of Sydney.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Associative Local. Representative Regional. Significant for its original community roof top garden, communal entertainment spaces and private waterfront internalized sea baths.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Associative Regional. Representative Regional. Significant for its use as WWII accommodation for troops.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as historically representative locally. This item is assessed as aesthetically representative regionally. This item is assessed as socially representative regionally.
Integrity/Intactness: Unsympathetic window and door frames, unsympathetic balustrades, exterior tiling. Intactness of interior is not known.
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:

Windows and doors recommended for timber replacement. Balcony balustrades to be replaced to original detail. Tiling to common areas balconies to be replaced to original detail.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Within a conservation area on an LEPKirribilli Conservation Area 13 Sep 13   
Development Control PlanContributory Item 13 Sep 13  Appendix 1
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
North Sydney Heritage Study Review19930144Tony Brassil, Robert Irving, Chris Pratten, Conybeare MorrisonTB 17/3/92 Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenNorth Sydney Council From Milson to Medium Density: A walking tour of Kirribilli” North Sydney Council. View detail

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

(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: 2180144

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.