The Gables | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


The Gables

Item details

Name of item: The Gables
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 16 Spruson Street, Neutral Bay, NSW 2089
Local govt. area: North Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
16 Spruson StreetNeutral BayNorth Sydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

A magnificent and beautifully proportioned example of a two storey Arts and Crafts style on a prominent site, and designed by the architect B.J. Waterhouse as his own residence. It dominates its immediate environment and is an important element in the collection of fine houses in Neutral Bay. The interior room configuration and detailing are of significance. The garden and front wall, sandstone outcrops and cutting are also of significance and contribute to the character of the site. The garage was constructed when Waterhouse's son acquired a car.
An excellent picturesque Arts and Crafts style house on a prominent site which was designed by B. J. Waterhouse as his own residence. It dominates it's immediate environment and is an important part of the collection of fine houses in Neutral Bay.

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: 19 Jul 19
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: B. J. Waterhouse
Physical description: A large two storey house of face brick with an intersecting gable roof of terracotta shingles. It's upper storey is within the roof space of the large gables and it features large areas of timber shingle wall cladding. The windows are multi-paned and have timber shutters. This building is designed in the Federation Arts and Crafts style.
The interior room configuration is still evident and original detailing.
The gardens are intact and include a low sandstone wall.
This home was designed by BJ Waterhouse for his own family.
The sandstone garage was constructed for Waterhouse's son when he acquired a car.
The sandstone outcrops and sandstone walls on the boundaries contribute to the building's character and significance.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Highly maintained.

Modifications and dates: Garage dated 1920
Further information: An example of the work of the well known architect B.J. Waterhouse for his own family.
Current use: Residential Private


Historical notes: Built in 1920 to a B. J. Waterhouse design for his own occupation.

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]
High local significance
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
State significance for the association with eminent architect BJ Waterhouse, who designed the dwelling for his family.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Regional significance as a fine example of the Arts and Crafts style by a proponent of the style.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
SHR Criteria f)
This item is assessed as aesthetically rare regionally.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as historically representative locally. This item is assessed as socially representative locally.
Integrity/Intactness: High
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:


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Statutory InstrumentNominate for State Heritage Register (SHR)19 Jul 19
Recommended ManagementPrepare or include in a Conservation Policy19 Jul 19


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanNorth Sydney LEP 2013I070702 Aug 13   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
North Sydney Heritage Study Review19931207Tony Brassil, Robert Irving, Chris Pratten, Conybeare MorrisonTB October 1992 Yes
North Sydney Heritage Review2002 John Oultram  No

References, internet links & images


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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2181207

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.

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