Flat Building "Kingsclere" Including Interior | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Flat Building "Kingsclere" Including Interior

Item details

Name of item: Flat Building "Kingsclere" Including Interior
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Flat
Primary address: 1 Greenknowe Avenue, Elizabeth Bay, NSW 2011
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1 Greenknowe AvenueElizabeth BaySydney  Primary Address
48 Macleay StreetPotts PointSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Kingsclere is an outstanding example of a Federation Free Style residential flat building designed by significant architects Halligan and Wilton, on a prominent corner site which makes a positive contribution to the streetscape. It dates from one of the key period of layers for the development of Potts Point as a direct result of the subdivision of the Greenknowe Estate and was the first high rise residential flat building built in Macleay Street.
Date significance updated: 07 Nov 06
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: Halligan and Wilton Architects
Builder/Maker: Master Builder Sweetnam
Construction years: 1912-1913
Physical description: The building is an 8 storey Federation Freestyle residential flat building constructed of face brickwork with sandstone detailing particularly for balcony corbels, horizontal banding, cartouches in the gables and some lintels. It has timber double hung windows and timber paneled doors. The building is symmetrical and divided into bays featuring recessed balconies, and gabled parapets to corner "towers".

The building was designed as a luxurious block to accommodate 17 apartments, with each apartment featuring 6 rooms, kitchen, pantry, two bathrooms, lavatories as well as , linen, cooks and housemaids cupboards. It has a wide cedar main stair. The basement was original utilized for a caretakers residence, servant's bedrooms and stores and is now an apartment. ( Building, December 12, 1912, p64)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In good condition with a high degree of original fabric intact.
Date condition updated:08 Jul 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: Primarily 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 largely decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today.

The site was originally part of a 54 acre land grant to Alexander Macleay in 1831 which included Elizabeth Bay House which was constructed in 1839. This land was progressively subdivided and by 1869 an estate with a frontage to Macleay Street, of around 3 acres was owned by Frederick Dangar who constructed a house known as "Greenknowe" which remained until further subdivision in 1908. In 1910 the lots where Kingsclere stands were transferred to Herbert Binnie who then mortgaged the site to construct the current building in 1912. "Kingsclere" was designed by prominent architects Halligan and Wilton and completed in 1912. It was designed for an exclusive market, including features such as two balconies and two bathrooms for each unit, luxurious wood paneling and automatic passenger lifts. "Kingsclere" was the first block of high-rise apartments to be built on Macleay Street and among the first in Sydney. By 1925 the building was owned by the prominent Albert family of nearby "Boomerang"
and was occupied primarily by tenants.

The Albert family owned the building until it was sold in 1994. It was converted to 17 Strata Title Apartments in May 1995, which were sold to individual owners.

Halligan and Wilson were prominent architects in the early 20th century. They designed a number of building including Dymocks building in George Street, Yeomerry in St Marks Road Darling Point, the British Tobacco Factory in Raleigh Park, Kensington and a string of hotels including the Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 Community facilities-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
One of the earliest high-rise apartment buildings in Sydney, and the first in Macleay Street. The building has historic significance as it dates from a key period of development of Potts Point and the subdivision of the Greenknowe Estate.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The building is associated with prominent architects Halligan & Wilton.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is a prominent element in the streetscape and a fine example of a Federation Free Style residential flat building demonstrating many of the key aspects of the style.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The building is held in high esteem by the local community and is listed as being of significance by other groups such as the RAIA and 20th Century Heritage Society.
SHR Criteria f)
The building is rare as an example of an early Sydney high-rise apartment building.
SHR Criteria g)
The building is a fine example of an Federation Free Style high rise resdential building found in the inner suburbs of Sydney.
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:

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 fa├žade 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 PlanSydney LEP 2012I58514 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

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

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1912" Kingsclere Flats" in Building, 12 December 1912
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenCity Plan Heritage2005Heritage Impact Statement

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: 2420942

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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