Semi-detached House Group including interiors | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Semi-detached House Group including interiors

Item details

Name of item: Semi-detached House Group including interiors
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Primary address: 19-25 Cook Road, Centennial Park, NSW 2021
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
19-25 Cook RoadCentennial ParkSydney  Primary Address
Street TreesGlebeSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The properties at 19-25 Cook Road contain a fine example of two similar pairs of semi-detached Federation Queen Anne style houses demonstrating key aspects of the style, which contribute to the character of the streetscape. They have historical significance as part of the development of 1905 residential subdivision of the Centennial Parklands and give evidence of the early 20th century built form of Cook Road. These dwellings also provide an important contrast to the larger, free standing homes along Martin, Lang and Robertson Roads, and give evidence of the two 'tiers' of development encouraged on the Centennial Park subdivisions.
Date significance updated: 17 Aug 10
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

Construction years: 1905-1906
Physical description: 19- 25 Cook Road contains two similar pairs of two storey semi-detached dwellings in the Federation Queen Anne style, with overtone of the Arts and Crafts Style. While some detailing is identical , such as for the chimney pots and the veranadah fretwork , Nos19-21 have street facing gables that are not repeated at Nos 23-25. The common details indicate that the four dwellings were most likely constructed by the same builder.

Each pair is described in more detail below:

19-21 Cook Road
Nos. 19 and 21 Cook Road were originally constructed to be a mirror image of each other. The dwellings are set high on a rendered base. The walls are of face brickwork, with the exception of a projecting ground floor bay, to the outer side, finished in rough cast render. Windows are narrow, timber framed double hung windows with two sashes; sills are constructed of bricks in a contrasting colour. The ground floor entrance porch and first floor verandah are divided by a brick party wall, which continues into the hipped terracotta tile clad roof as a parapet. The roof of No. 21 Cook Road is of multi-coloured tiles. The hipped roof is interrupted by a street-facing gable to the outer side of the first floor of each dwelling. The gable of No. 21 is finished with rough-cast render, timber fret work and a terracotta finial; the latter two elements are missing from No. 23. The first floor verandah has a high shingle clad balustrade, trimmed with simple timber fret-work; the verandahs of both dwellings have been enclosed. The roof continues without a break over the verandah. A pair of brick chimneys with rough-cast rendered detail to the top and terracotta chimney pots rise on both sides of the roof.

23-25 Cook Road
The front of Nos. 23 and 25 Cook Road is defined by a sandstone block wall, with wrought iron gate. The dwellings are set above street level and are approached by flights of sandstone/concrete stairs. The dwellings were originally constructed to be a mirror image of each other. The dwellings are set high on a rendered base. The walls are of face brickwork, with the exception of a projecting ground floor bay, to the outer side, finished in rough cast render. Windows are narrow, timber framed double hung windows; sills are constructed of bricks in a contrasting colour. The ground floor entrance porch and first floor verandah are decided by a brick party wall, which continues into the hipped terracotta tile clad roof (new roof). The first floor verandah has a high shingle clad balustrade, trimmed with simple timber fret work; the verandah of No. 23 Cook Road has been enclosed. The roof continues without a break over the verandahs and is supported on simple timber posts. A pair of brick chimneys with rough-cast rendered detail to the top and terracotta chimney pots rise on both sides of the roof.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good
Date condition updated:13 Aug 10
Further information: The semi-detached group was first listed as a heritage item under the provisions of LEP 2012 which was gazetted on 14/12/2012.

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

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.

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.

The development of Moore Park through the latter part of the nineteenth century, impinged on its near neighbour, the Water Reserve. Far from being isolated, the area surrounding the Reserve now comprised industrial and residential areas and sites used for the dumping of ‘night soil.’ The increasing intensity of land use denuded the land of its natural vegetation, in turn compacting the soil surface and reducing the ability of the ground to absorb and retain water. By the 1860s, the water drawn from the Lachlan Swamps was being supplemented by water from the Botany Swamps pumped into large reservoirs on the Reserve. Concerns about the quality of Sydney’s only water supply were once again raised. The issue was resolved with the completion of Sydney’s third water system, which piped in water from the Nepean, in 1888. From this time on, the Water Reserve was no longer required to fulfil its intended purpose.

The Water Reserve became available for redevelopment at the time when Sydney was planning its centenary celebrations. In 1887 (Sir) Henry Parkes placed before parliament a bill to provide for these celebrations. Among other provisions, the bill called for the creation of a public park of not less than 640 acres on the site of the former Water Reserve. The Bill was later passed as the Centenary Celebration Act. Henry Parkes foresaw a grand park in the English tradition. Sweeping drives and ‘improved planting’ were to be arranged around the former water reservoirs, which were to be converted into ornamental lakes. The land left over from the creation of the park was to be subdivided and sold to subsidise the construction cost of what was ultimately named Centennial Park.

The land bordering the north west side of the Centennial Park was reserved from sale until 1905. In 1904 Premier J.K Carruthers initiated a move in the Legislative Assembly to allow the land set aside by Henry Parkes to be sold to reduce the debt incurred through the creation of the Park. The sale was hotly contested before being approved as the Centenary Park Sale Act 1904. Approximately one hundred and ninety-three acres of land, in three separate parcels, were vested in the Chief Minister (by Crown Grant) for sale or lease. Cook Road was located within a parcel of land just over 33 acres in size and bound by Lang Road, the Agricultural Society’s Ground, Cook Road and Park Road.

The lots fronting Centennial Park along Martin Road, Lang Road and Robertson Road were subject to a building covenant that specified:

• No terrace buildings.
• Not more than one dwelling per lot.
• The materials of the dwelling were to be mainly of brick or stone and the roofing material of slate or tiles, no wooden buildings being permitted.
• The minimum cost of construction was to be £ 12 10s per foot of the frontage and if built on more than one frontage were to be up to the minimum for the largest frontage.
• No stores, dairies or hotels were allowed.
• Dwellings were to be enclosed with an approved fence within one year.

Centennial Park was not intended to be just a suburb composed exclusively of mansions. Less restrictive covenants were placed on allotments not fronting the park in order to ensure a good class of building while giving the ‘man of moderate means a chance’ to build his home near the park. Conditions on other frontages included:

• Not more than one dwelling or two semi-detached dwellings per lot.
• The minimum cost of construction was £10 per foot of frontage or, for semi-detached dwellings, the combined cost was to be £15 per foot of frontage.
• Stores were permitted, but no hotels or dairies.

The above covenant was clearly intended to create a high quality residential suburb. The placing of building controls on land released by public authorities was not without precedent. During the 1820s, Governor Darling had insisted on reviewing all plans for villas built on Woolloomooloo Hill, Sydney’s first residential suburb. His successor, Richard Bourke likewise placed reservations on grants within the exclusive Rushcutter’s Valley. The use of building covenants was not restricted to government released subdivisions. Land sold contemporarily to the 1905 Centennial Park sales on the privately developed Haberfield Estate was sold with similarly restrictive building covenants.

The concept of surrounding Centennial Park with residences of a high quality had been part of Henry Parkes’ original vision for the area. Henry Parkes had envisioned a Centennial Park surrounded by ‘elegant mansions with gardens and railing in front’, which, together with the Park, would created ‘one of the most ‘lovely and favourable suburbs in the City of Sydney.’ These residences were to define the boundaries of the park, thereby providing an appropriate setting for its ornamental lakes and drives. The residential precincts of Centennial Park were thus an integral part of the park’s design and appear to have been planed concurrent with the Grand Carriage Way.


Competition for the best-positioned allotments offered for sale in 1905 was fierce:

‘The attendance of buyers was good, nearly 400 people being present. Competition for the choice lots was animated, while land with frontages to Moore Park was in poor demand…’

The low ridges along which Martin and Lang Roads run, along the western perimeter of the Park, provided the ideal aspect for mansions. These western allotments were considered the:

‘…pick of the estate, being situated on the rising ground to the west side of the park, with frontages looking on to the lakes and drives on one side and towards Moore Park on the other.’

Following one the earliest land sales it was prophesised:

‘Intending purchasers are, to a great extent, holding back for the sale of the westerly slopes…These blocks will undoubtedly attracted a good deal of attention, being situated in an elevation portion of the subdivision….’

Within one year of the release of land, 27 houses had been constructed; most of the lots facing Centennial Park had been sold. Sales would continue over the following twenty years. Most of the dwellings were built between 1905 and 1925. The Centennial Park covenants appear to have had the desired effect. Where to Live: ABC Guide to Sydney and Suburbs (1917) listed Moore Park, along with Darlinghurst, Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay, as the ‘best residential portion of the areas controlled by the City Council.’ While many dwellings were architecturally designed, not all were favourably commented on in architectural literature.

Council Records indicate that Cook Road was formed in 1905-6. The subject properties, Nos. 19-25 Cooks Road are listed as Government land in the Rate and Valuation Records for Flinders Ward for 1905. A revised assessment carried out in the following year provides evidence of the construction of the dwellings. In this year, Nos. 11-29 Cooks Road were owned by Charles Coulton. Each is described as a two-storey brick house of six rooms (later listed as seven) with a slate roof. No occupants are given. Further evidence that the dwellings were newly constructed is provided by correspondence between Coulton and the Town Clerk concerning repairs to repairs required at ‘new buildings’ in Cook Road and lane in 1905 (1905/1698).

Cook Road was first listed John Sands’ Sydney and Suburban Directory of 1907, at which time there were 13 listings on the northern side of the road, including Coulton’s houses; the southern side was not listed. No occupant is given for No. 19 Cook Road in this year; No. 21 was occupied by Abraham H. Baumberg, No. 23 by Samuel H. Diamond and No. 25 by Mrs. Percy Jones. No. 19 Cook Road was first listed the following year, with Edward Crabbe given as the occupant. Coulton would not own the dwellings for long. When they were again rated in 1911, Nos. 11-19 were owned by William Longworth. Some occupants, such as the Jones in No. 25 Cook Road, were long term tenants, while other dwellings were occupied for relatively short periods. Rate and Valuation Records over the period to 1940 indicate that the dwellings along this side of Cook Road comprised a mixture of owner-occupied and tenanted dwellings.

The 1920s and 1930s were decades of contrasts and contradictions. On one hand, Sydney underwent industrial and population expansion, while on the other there was economic and social depression. The 1920s were an era of subdivision and land sales. More buildings were built in Sydney in the 1920s than in any previous decade of the city’s history, a record not surpassed until the Post World War II boom. The neighbouring Municipality of Randwick boasted the largest population of any municipality outside the City of Sydney from the early 1920s to 1940. The era witnessed the construction of The Bridge, of underground railways, of electricity, the cinema, telegraphy, the aeroplane and a steadily growing admiration for that ‘most skilled and powerful manipulator of the communication media, the United States of America’:

‘In the twenty-five years between the wars the tempo of life was accelerated as never before. The nineteen-twenties were rich, gay and colourful, they were also restless and unsatisfactory. There was plenty of industrial unrest.Money was plentiful, Then the price of wool dropped.’

The domestic housing market was hit hard by the economic depression of the early 1930s. Building approvals by Sydney municipal councils decreased dramatically.

From the depression of the early 1930s:

‘…Sydney (slowly) surfaced again, not in the seeming light of the nineteen-twenties but under the gathering war clouds on the nineteen-thirties….An uneasy prosperity came back…In 1939 so much was brought to an end…or changed, by war.’

‘The depression was over. Money was going around again…Lists of unemployed receded, buildings began to grow.’

Suburban building began the slow climb to improvement from 1932-3.

The Centennial Park residential precinct underwent change during the Post WWII era. Between 1969 and 1974, 675 units, mainly home units, were built in the area. By 1974, bungalows and detached houses accounted for only 13.56 % of the total number of houses. Some of the existing dwellings were converted into boarding houses. No. 21 Cook Road was issued with a boarding house licence from 1982 until 1988.

Building Records (Street Cards and Archives Investigator)

• No. 19 Cook Road: Storeroom, laundry, garage, applicant I. Zlatar (1968); Compliant re condition of premises (1975); Garage, applicant Zlatar (1976-8); erect pergola, carport and lattice at rear, applicant Toolaby Pty Ltd (1988); installation of swimming pool, applicant VMPL & Co. Ltd (1990).

• No. 21 Cook Road: Storeroom, laundry, garage, applicant N. Novak; Compliant re condition of premises (1975); Boarding House Licence (Metod Novak, April 1982-June 1988).

• No. 23 Cook Road: Enclose Balcony (1935); Brick fence at rear (1966); Alterations and additions to rear (1979); DA Extension to Dwelling, applicant, Jarrod, Shield and De Groen; Brick fence to rear (1966); Laundry, shower and sunroom (1968); Alterations to dwelling, applicant G. Smith (1983).

• No. 25: Compliant re condition of premises (1975); Use of part of the premises for spiritual worship, applicant G. Griffths and L. Howells (1978); Alterations to dwelling and addition of a deck of pergola (1986).

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. Residential-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site has historical significance as part of the development of 1905 residential subdivision of the Centennial Parklands ands and provides evidence of the early 20th century built form of Cook Road.These dwellings also provide an important contrast to the larger, free standing homes along Martin, Lang and Robertson Roads, and give evidence of the two 'tiers' of development encouraged on the Centennial Park subdivisions.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
A fine example of two similar pairs of semi-detached Federation Queen Anne houses demonstrating key aspects of the style, which contribute to the character of the streetscape.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The semi-detached houses are not rare.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Representative example of Federation Queen Anne semi-detached houses found in the inner suburbs of Sydney.
Integrity/Intactness: Moderate to High externally
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 two semi-detached terrace pairs are to 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. Enclosures to verandahs should be removed and original form and detailing reinstated. Multi-coloured roof tiles at No 21 should be replaced by terracotta tiles matching the colour and detailing as that at No 19. Missing gable detailing at No 21 should be reinstated to match that at No 19.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I9714 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Heritage Review of Selected Heritage Items and Potential Heritage Items2008 Weir Phillips, Architects and Heritage Consultants  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City View detail

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: 2427728


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