House "Engadine Court" Including Interior | NSW Environment & Heritage

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House "Engadine Court" Including Interior

Item details

Name of item: House "Engadine Court" Including Interior
Other name/s: Owestry
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Mansion
Primary address: 234 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, NSW 2037
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
234 Glebe Point RoadGlebeSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The site and building provides evidence of the early subdivision of the Toxteth Estate.The building has historical significance for its ability to evidence Federation development. It is an important building in the professional work of the noted architect Oliver Harley. The scale and quality of the building and site reflect the aspirations of the early occupants of the Toxteth Estate. Significant for its association with the development as a transport node. The building has historical associative significance for its association with the original owner, FE McMahon and the subsequent owner in 1905 Mr Benjamin Esq and his architect Oliver Harley. The building is significant for its contribution to the streetscape and to the Toxteth Estate. One of the finest masions on Glebe Point. The building has aesthetic significance as an outstanding example of transition from Victorian to Federation Style.It has a high quality of design intention and is particularly noted for its use of the round tower element.
Date significance updated: 19 Jul 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.

Description

Builder/Maker: Oliver Harley (c.1908 alterations)
Construction years: 1886-1908
Physical description: A two-storey freestanding grand residence that dates from the Victorian period with a 1908 overlay, within the key period of significance, set on a wide site that has retained its context. The building is setback from the street. The site has a an appropriate front fence of iron palisade on a stone plinth approximately 1.2 metres high. The front garden is large and formally landscaped and features a central non-original marble path and steps, trees and hedging and provides an appropriate setting for the house.The façade presents a complex asymmetrical elevation and is constructed of rendered masonry with a paint finish on a rendered masonry base course. The roof is complex and features a pyramidal tower and a cupola tower, clad in sheet metal, a projecting faceted bay and gabled bay to side. The roof is hipped with a medium pitch, gabled with a steep pitch, and has broad, boxed, corbelled eaves. The roof is clad in slate with terracotta ridge capping and features corbelled chimneys, terracotta chimney pots and timber finials. The veranda runs between the towers and has a straight profile. It is clad in sheet metal and features turned timber columns, carved timber brackets and unusual art noveau, cast iron balustrading. The façade features art noveau and classical motifs, garlands, shield panels, pressed metal skirt, timber battened wall finish. The front door is centrally located marked by a portico and is multi-panelled with two glazed panels with fanlights and sidelights and features noveau leadlight glazing. Fenestration comprises vertically proportioned French doors, curved glass sashes to tower and multipane casement timber windows with highlights, leadlight and rendered sills.The building appears to be in good condition and is substantially intact.
Date condition updated:15 May 03
Modifications and dates: c.1908 additions to a Victorian Villa.. Listing includes garage c1910.
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

History

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. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters.

With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.

(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani )

The Sydney Glebe lands were granted to the Church of England in 1789, and in 1828 “to relieve the pressing needs of clergy”, Glebe was subdivided into 28 allotments and all but three lots (numbers 7,8 and 28) were offered for sale. The Toxteth Estate comprises 4 lots from the 1828 subdivision of the Glebe. Lot 21 was acquired by AB Spark, and lots 22-24 were acquired by George Allen.Toxteth Park was built for George Allen in 1831, to the design of John Verge. Toxteth Park house consisted of a rectangular two-storey block with single-storey wings and a stone-flagged verandah which was laid around two sides of the house. Set at right angles, behind the main building, and facing a large paved courtyard, were the kitchen and servants’ quarters. Shortly after the completion of the house the Sydney Gazette described its ‘spacious garden, containing some hundreds of the choicest trees- and a tract of forest land capable of being converted into the most romantic pleasure grounds’. On George Allen’s death in 1877, George Wigram Allen, his son, moved into “Toxteth House” but not before making extensive alterations to the principal buildings of the estate under the superintendence of G.A. Mansfield somewhere between 1877 and 1881. This action must have had a large impact on the popular builders of the adjacent estates, for, the greater part of the Allen estate seems to have been sub-divided and built up from the early 1880s to the early 1900s employing the Italianate and elaborate variations of it during the 1880s and 1890s, while the late 1890s and 1900s came under the influence of a “Federation” style. George Allen, in his will, decreed that only private dwelling houses be built on the future subdivision of the estate, and that they be constructed out of either brick or stone. Being a devout Wesleyan, Allens covenant prevented alcohol being brought on to the estate in the form of Hotel or Inn development. As a consequence of the covenants, the Glebe Point end as it became known was a very desirable and fashionable part of Sydney to live in, with some large houses being built along the Glebe Point Road around the turn of the century. These mainly belonged to a higher socio-economic group than would be found in the Church lands or other speculative pockets of the Glebe. George Wigram Allen died in 1885. Subdivision of Toxteth Park had commenced in earnest in 1884 with 88 building sites offered for sale. In 1886, Mills & Pile offered forty-five allotments for sale in Wigram Road, measuring for the most part, twenty-five feet to thirty feet. One hundred and thirty-four ‘choice villa sites’ were offered in Boyce Street, Ross Street and Toxteth Road.

The 1828 subdivision made allowance for in roads into the Glebe; Bay Road and Glebe Road (Glebe Point Road) were created by cutting through bush, pulling out stumps and ‘filling in the largest of the holes’. Glebe Point Rd, or alternatively known as the Glebe Rd, opened up in 1829 as the initial exploitive action in the form of a tract with fence either side. This basic line of communication cut into the then dense forest covering the Glebe with only bush tracks made by drays penetrating off the Glebe Rd to the individual estates. A main influencing factor on the character of the subdivided areas of Toxteth Park Estate was the covenant, issued on the death of George Allen, in that being a devout Wesleyan no alcohol was to be brought on to the estate in the form of Hotel or Inn development, no commercial development, and that any building be constructed out of brick of stone or both. As a consequence of the covenants, the Glebe Point end as it became known was a very desirable and fashionable part of Sydney to live in, with some large houses being built along the Glebe Point Road around the turn of the century. These mainly belonged to a higher socio-economic group than would be found in the Church lands or other speculative pockets of the Glebe.

The earliest subdivision plans of the Toxteth Estate show the landmark of Toxteth Road as a paddock. An undated (c.1884) Mills & Pile subdivision plan of the Toxteth Park Estate shows the land subdivided but undeveloped. 234 Glebe Point Road was first listed in the Sands Directory of 1887 and was occupied by Francis McMahon. The building was then known as ‘Oswestry’.the 1888 Byrne Maps shows the footprint of F.E. McMahons residence. The layout of the original 'Oswestry' is shown more clearly on an 1889 Mills & Pile auction sale advertisement. The present appearance is a result of a skillful transformation of the grand late Victorian house into a substantial Edwardian residence c.1908. Drawings depict the change of style from what was a symmetrical Italianate building to an updated building of the Federation style in about 1908 for a Mr Benjamin Esq. The architect was Oliver Harley. These renovations were probably influenced by two earlier (than the renovations) buildings close by in Glebe Point Road, that of "Lasswade" at No.242 built around 1893 and "Hartford" built around 1899. "Lasswade" and "Hartford" were of brick expression whilst "Oswestry" retained its rendered appearance. It is interesting to note the possible development of this style through from "Lasswade" through "Hartford" and "Oswestry" chronologically. The tower as an independent element had evolved in the Italianate, as mentioned before, and the preference for location seemed to be the corner of the mass of the building in order to break the symmetry.Bernard Smith notes "234 Glebe Road suffers from a sense of crowding bays and from the turrets and balconies super-imposed upon a rectangular Italianate block without much understanding of the different logic of Federation planning... The fine art nouveau glass must have been added later". The building is known also as Engadine Court.

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)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Oliver Harley-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site and building provides evidence of the early subdivision of the Toxteth Estate.The building has historical significance for its ability to evidence Federation development. It is an important building in the professional work of the noted architect Oliver Harley. The scale and quality of the building and site reflect the aspirations of the early occupants of the Toxteth Estate.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Significant for its association with the development as a transport node. The building has historical associative significance for its association with the original owner, FE McMahon and the subsequent owner in 1905 Mr Benjamin Esq and his architect Oliver Harley.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is significant for its contribution to the streetscape and to the Toxteth Estate. One of the finest masions on Glebe Point. The building has aesthetic significance as an outstanding example of transition from Victorian to Federation Style.It has a high quality of design intention and is particularly noted for its use of the round tower element.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The building's quality reflects the development of Glebe Point Road as a major street. At the time it was altered it made a significant contribution to the development of the Toxteth Estate as a precinct.

It reflects the development of Glebe Point Road as a prestige address. Reflects the social importance in late nineteenth century Sydney of English cultural references.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site has medium archaeological potential as a late Victorian building altered in the early twentieth century.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The building is a rare, high quality, outstanding example of a Federation renovation with a highly intact exterior and interior of high quality design with outstanding potential to be restored with minimum effort.

The building has rarity significance as it provides evidence of an accomplished transitional building.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
An outstanding example of a transitional eclectic grand residence in a garden setting.
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 included in the Heritage Schedule of the LEP and should be protected by the Conservation Area Listing. Subdivision should not occur. Consolidation of sites should not occur. The existing use of the site should continue. One storey, two storey, attic additions could occur at the rear of the building.This house is currently well presented and cared for.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I74714 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
 0B22G   No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenBerchervaise & Associates1991 Main Street Study

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: 2427724


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