House "Biltmore" including interior, front fence and gates | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


House "Biltmore" including interior, front fence and gates

Item details

Name of item: House "Biltmore" including interior, front fence and gates
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 14 Lang Road, Centennial Park, NSW 2021
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
14 Lang RoadCentennial ParkSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Biltmore has local historic and aesthetic significance. It is a good example of a Federation Arts and Crafts style house that was built in 1915 for Thomas Smith to the design of well-known architects Waterhouse and Lake. It was built on the 1905 subdivision of the Centennial Park Lands that was carried out to provide funds for the establishment of the park.

The house is reasonably intact and has high quality interiors and decoration, and originally featured a flat roof that may have been an early use of their technique for a dwelling.

The house is part of a group of grand houses along Lang Road from the Federation and Inter-war periods, which due to covenant and siting restrictions have ensured a high quality streetscape.
Date significance updated: 20 Feb 15
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: Waterhouse and Lake
Builder/Maker: Edward Charles Lusted ( 1867-1928)
Physical description: The site contains a two storey Federation Arts and Crafts style face brick house on a sandstone base with a hipped slate roof which replaced the original flat roof. There is a two storey front verandah divided into two bays with stone piers above two arched openings to the undercroft. The verandah has been infilled with frameless glass windows. The entrance to the houses is to the side with an arched brick porch laid in terrazzo with marble steps.

The house has high quality decoration and joinery internally particularly to the more intact section to the front. There is painted timber dado panelling to the hall, that carries up to the stair and to the living room inglenook. Ceilings are lath and plaster, with plasterboard to the modern areas and the major rooms and hall have coffered ceilings with down stand timber beams and cornices. There is an inglenook fireplace to the living room with a low ceiling over and arched inserts on both sides. The fireplace has a decorated timber mantle with a modern insert. All other original fireplaces have been removed.

There are timber casement windows to the front set proud of the wall with decorative lead lights and fanlights, and two pane double hung sashes to the rear.

There is a rear extension which has full height glazed folding doors to the rear deck.

The house is setback from Lang Road, like the adjoining residences, and has a sandstone wall to the street frontage. It has a stone lych gate, with a well detailed timber gate, and a second small timber gate to the south.

At the rear of the house is a timber deck leading to large rear garden which includes a swimming pool, lawn area and perimeter plantings including a large Eucalypt. To the side is a long single storey garage of brick construction with a castellated parapet. There is sunken drive way from the garage with a roller shutter door to the rear lane.

The site adjoins a large ornately detailed Federation house at No 12, and a single storey Federation house at No 16.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
1916 - Rear single storey garage, - builder was Charles Ernest Knowles ( 1881-1950)

Flat roof changed to existing pitched roof - some time after 1949

1978- Swimming pool erected

First floor verandah enclosed with glazing.
Date condition updated:19 Apr 05
Further information: 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 the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are constantly updated by the City 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 Conservation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Current use: Residential
Former use: Residential


Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora.

With European Occupation of the Sydney region from 1788, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today.

The site is part of the Centennial Park Lands subdivision of 1905, the sale of which funded landscaping of Centennial Park. The property was purchased in June 1906 by boot and shoe manufacturer William John Hickey. However development only took place after a new owner, Thomas Smith, a merchant, purchased the propery in November 1914. Smith engaged the prominent architects Waterhouse and Lake to design a house for him. He named the house Biltmore which was completed in 1915.

Warehouse and Lake were an architectural firm held in very high regard for the quality of their work and which carried out many commissions particularly on the North Shore.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The property has historical significance as part of the development of the Centennial Park lands subdivision of 1905, and its relationship to Centennial Park.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Associated with well-known architects Waterhouse and Lake, a firm held in very high regard for the quality of their work and which carried out many commissions particularly on the North Shore.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Biltmore is of aesthetic significance as a good example of the Federation Arts & Crafts style that is part of a group of grand houses from the early 20th century a similar period which due to covenant and siting restrictions which have ensured a high quality streetscape.

The house is reasonably intact and has high quality interiors and decoration, and originally featured a flat roof that may have been an early use of their technique for a dwelling.
SHR Criteria g)
Representative of development of fine houses on large lots along Lang and Martin Martin Roads following the 1905 subdivision of Centennial Park.
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 building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the façade of the building other than to reinstate original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, flooring and fireplaces should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanHouse “Biltmore” including interior, front fence &I10714 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
South Sydney Heritage Study1993 Tropman & Tropman Architects  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City View detail
WrittenJohn Oultram Heritage and Design2014Heritage Impact Statement - Proposed Alterations and Additions to 14 Lang Road, Centennial Park

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: 2420869

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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