Residential flat building and grounds | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Residential flat building and grounds

Item details

Name of item: Residential flat building and grounds
Other name/s: Ranelagh
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Block of Flats
Primary address: 167 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, NSW 2023
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
167 Victoria RoadBellevue HillWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The residential flat building at 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill is of local significance by virtue of its aesthetic form, uniform detail to building and surrounds which remains as a good and intact example of Inter-war Art Deco style architecture employed in group developments of residential flat buildings. The building retains a close visual and aesthetic relationship to the adjacent residential flat building at 165 Victoria Road, which was conjointly designed and constructed. The pair demonstrate the inter-war practice of constructing residential flat complexes with integrated plans, consistent massing, style and detailing that contribute to the creation of landmark qualities in the street.

By virtue of aesthetic form and uniform detailing in the Inter- war Art Deco style, the building also forms a significant element within the proposed Victoria Road Heritage Conservation Area Bellevue Hill.
Date significance updated: 05 May 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: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1939-1940
Physical description: The four storey residential flat building at 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill is set on a narrow tapering subdivision near the junction of Victoria Road and Bellevue Park Road. Designed in Inter -war Art Deco style, the building is of deep red face brickwork with hipped concrete tile roof of salmon colour. The building is juxtaposed in mirror reversed form to residential flats jointly developed at 165 Victoria Road. The building is stepped in plan to the street frontage with rounded vertical attached piers rising to a subtly stepped parapet incorporating bands of decorative brickwork including brick on edge, projecting stringer courses and basket weave pattern brickwork. Further decorative brickwork is provided to opposing sides of the vertical piers with projecting roundels to the outer north-western corner and parallel projecting courses to the inner side of the piers. Projecting stringer courses to window head and sill levels add further emphasis to the street elevation and side returns. Detailing to the long side elevations is simplified with single window openings set between continuous projecting stringer courses. At mid-point of a central walkway, a vertical recess and projecting concrete hood with horizontal moulded edge defines the main entry. Above, twin attached piers rise to the eaves soffit. Single window openings contained within the recess light the inner stairwell. Windows are timber framed in double hung or casement forms with horizontal glazing bars.

Also provided within the recess at first floor level are decorative panels of architectural terra cotta (faience). The entry features timber framed glazed doors set within stepped brickwork and glass brick sidelights. The name Ranelagh is painted (or soft etched) onto the glass in conjunction with Art Deco styled line work. To the rear of the building openings to recessed verandahs have been clear-glazed.

The inner walkway between the paired structures is paved with concrete and has a low face brick dividing wall. To the street frontage, a turfed lawn with low tree planting is enclosed by a single course of quarry-faced sandstone. The sandstone walling extends across to the adjacent site forming a dwarf wall to the steep vehicle ramp at No.165 adjacent to the common entryway. Interiors have not been inspected
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building is in good condition with much original external fabric sympathetically maintained. Concrete tile roofing is a later replacement. Interiors have not been fully inspected but would appear to match the external fabric in terms of repair.

Alterations are associated with progressive updating.

Hard landscaping particularly paving and dwarf stone and brick walling is in good condition.
Date condition updated:19 May 06
Modifications and dates: Recorded alterations are limited to alterations and additions dated 1951 onwards and appearing to relate to internal alterations.
Further information: In addition to having significance in its own right and in its relationship with the jointly developed building at 165 Victoria Road, the building is contributory to the proposed Victoria Road Heritage Conservation Area Bellevue Hill. It is located at the north-eastern end of this cohesive row of buildings on the south eastern side of Victoria Road.

Comparative assessment
The adjacent residential flat buildings at 165 and 167 Victoria Road bear close comparison with works by the prolific designer of residential flat buildings of the inter-war period Eric C Pitt. In particular, Pitt’s designs for residential flats constructed in Billiard Avenue Elizabeth Bay appear to have strongly influenced the design of 165 and 167 Victoria Road. As with many of H.E. Rogers’ projects the paired buildings at 165 and 167 employ the relationship of grouped structures to enhance the otherwise limited aesthetic quality of individual elements. Detailed architectural resolution on H.E. Rogers’ projects is characteristically concentrated on street elevations, central walkways and about the main entry. The buildings at 165 and 167 typify this approach with a notable level of detailing provided to these areas given added impact by the mirror reversal of the opposing buildings. Characteristically, design finesse does not extend to the building interiors which compare poorly with the innovative layouts of architect designed flat buildings of the time including Pitts works and the nearby form of 206A Victoria Road by architect Samuel Lipson.
Current use: Residential Flats
Former use: Residential Falts


Historical notes: The site of 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill is located on the south eastern extent of a ridgeline identified as Ghinigulla by the indigenous Wangal clan prior to European settlement. The ridgeline takes the name Bellevue Hill from naming of the lookout point now forming Bellevue Park as Belle–Vue by Governor Macquarie in 1820. The site formed part of an 1500 acre estate of Captain John Piper prior to his insolvency in 1826 at which point the lands were conveyed to Solomon Levey and Daniel Cooper. In 1847 Daniel Cooper became sole owner. Daniel Cooper subsequently willed his estate to a nephew, Daniel Cooper, a resident of London with little interest in development. Cooper in turn left the still largely undeveloped lands to his sons Daniel and William. The proviso that the lands be held until the sons turned twenty-one, saw large areas released on 99 year leases at low rental. Under Daniel Cooper III’s instructions, sales of his Bellevue Hill holdings commenced in 1883. Sales did not accelerate until the Bellevue Hill tram service of the 1890’s facilitated regular commuting.

The site of the current residential flat building and those adjacent were previously within the grounds of substantial gentleman’s villas. Construction of these in the locality began in the 1840’s with Waverley House further to the west near the later junction of Bondi Road. Development proceeded towards the current site with construction of Ben Eden in nearby Paul Street in 1863 and in the mid-1870’s by Llandudno constructed at the intersection of Old South Head Road and the then Upper Bellevue Road for John Halford Maddocks. Additional residences were constructed in the period along the south facing slope of Bellevue Hill above the Old South Head Road, these being, Eastwell, Pine Hill and Karaweera. The grounds of these four residences encompassed much of the Victoria Road frontage later developed as inter war flats.

In 1903 a sale of land to the immediate north east of Llandudno occurred as the Bellevue Park Estate subdivision. These lands were developed prior to World War 1 as Federation style residences within and adjacent to the Bellevue Park Estate. Construction of St Stephens Anglican Church in 1927 introduced a larger scale of development to the setting. Sand’s Directory for 1928 records the residential flat building Menlo Flats at 163 Victoria Road. These are the first identified residential flats in the immediate area.

Demolition of the remaining residences between St Stephens and the junction of Victoria Road and Old South Head Road occurred late in the inter-war period. In 1936 construction of residential flats was approved on the sites of 169 and 171 Victoria Road these being constructed for Charles Amos Baker.

In the same year at 175 Victoria Road, previously the residence of Frederick Brenchly, flats were constructed for P. James and to the opposite side of St Stephens at 3 Bellevue Park Road for Dr G. Waddy. Llandudno remained to the west of these developments. In 1922 Llandudno, then in the ownership of Sir William McMillan and leased to Alfred Consett Stephens, was sold to the trustees of the Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home to house their establishment previously at 41 Dowling Street. In 1939 the Home relocated to Hunter’s Hill, approval having been gained in January of that year to subdivide the grounds of Llandudno. This created the sites of 177 and 179 Victoria Road on which approval was granted for residential flat developments, that at 177 again being for Charles Amos Baker. In the same year, the remaining residences of R. Shaw at 165 and R.F. George at 167 Victoria Road were also redeveloped as residential flats by H.E. Rogers.

H.E. Rogers and Charles Amos Baker appear as the most prolific developers of residential flat buildings in the years immediately prior to World War Two. Both were inclined to submit building applications under their own names either employing contract architects or draughtsmen to carry out design in the fashionable styles of the period. Works by Baker, Rogers and others in Victoria Road provided an uninterrupted row of inter-war styled flat buildings from the corner of Old South Head Road to the site of St Stephen’s with the taller form of the development at 3 Bellevue Park Road beyond. The residential flat grouping remains to the present time.

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. Housing - Suburban Expansion-
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 Creative endeavour-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The residential flat building at 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill retains some historic significance as an example of the forms evolved for close settlement of the Cooper Estate during the later inter-war years.

The sites of residential flat buildings to the western end of Victoria Road Bellevue Hill have evolved from early subdivisions of the Cooper Estate resulting in establishment of large villas to the south eastern perimeter of the estate overlooking Bondi. Subsequent subdivision of the grounds about these residences reflected the growth in property values provided by improved transport in the early 20th century. Efforts to maximise returns from such subdivisions led to the introduction of residential flat buildings during the First World War, a process which gained momentum through the Inter War years.

The building at 165 Victoria Road together with that conjointly developed at 167 Victoria Road demonstrates historical significance as a good example of the building form and detailed styles employed by established entrepreneurs of the later inter-war period.

The building is also contributory to the historical significance of the residential flat building group identified as the proposed Victoria Road Heritage Conservation Area.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site of 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill has general association with the initial owners of the Piper Estate Captain John Piper and the Cooper Estate, Daniel Cooper and Daniel Cooper 111 and with Henry Coles the original leaseholder of the former grounds about the residence Pinehill. The building at 167 Victoria Road has local association with the entrepreneurial activities of the first owner H.E. Rogers. The socially-established Rogers was a prolific developer of residential flats in Woollahra Municipality immediately prior to World War 2. This association provides an identifiable degree of significance under this criterion.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The residential flat building at 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill, in conjunction with the adjacent residential flat building at 165 Victoria Road, demonstrates the application of the Inter-war Art Deco style to related structures. It provides an enhanced landmark quality through site planning, consistent detailing and the use of mirror reversed forms to provide a symmetrical grouping. No.167 retains extensive detailing carried out in preferred materials of the style including decorative brickwork, architectural terra cotta, incised render, chromed metal and horizontal framed timber windows.
The building is considered of significance under this criterion.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The residential flats at 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill are not associated with a particular community or cultural group within Woollahra for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The residential flats at 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill whilst demonstrating the level of technical skill employed in residential flat building in the years immediately prior to World War 2 do not represent an important benchmark or reference site to the technical understanding of this period of construction.
SHR Criteria f)
The residential flats at 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill represent a type of common occurrence in Sydney.
SHR Criteria g)
The residential flats at 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill are a good and well-detailed example of residential flat buildings detailed in the Inter-war Art Deco style. In conjunction with the adjacent building at 165 Victoria Road they demonstrate the landmark qualities of residential flats from the period constructed in visually related forms.
Integrity/Intactness: The building has been the subject of limited and mainly internal alterations. The residential flat building retains its core relationship to the site, street and setting by virtue of limited external alteration.
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 residential flats at 167 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill in conjunction with 165 Victoria Roads are recommended for inclusion within Woollahra Local Environment Plan 1995 as an individual heritage item and part of a heritage item group at No. 165-167 Victoria Road of local significance. The building is also recommended to form a significant element in the proposed Victoria Road Heritage Conservation Area. Conservation policy In order to maintain significance of the building and its contributing setting all original fabric and finishes external to the building and in common areas of the interior are to be considered important and should be retained in the original relationship to the buildings. Maintenance should be limited to conservation of existing original fabric and finishes and of sympathetic supporting fabric of later addition. Alterations should be limited to removal of unsympathetic additions and modifications, enabling replacement with sympathetic works or reinstatement of original forms and matching fabric. This approach should extend to the grounds and include the long term replacement of unsympathetic elements. No works should be carried out which obscure or reduce the visual relationship of the building to its setting, the vista to Cooper Park, or the view of the building from Victoria Road. In addition, no works should be undertaken which alter the external detailing of hard and soft landscaping between the buildings at 165 and 167 Victoria Road or which interfere with the visual relationship of these buildings. The curtilage is recommended to be the combined sites of the two buildings together with the street frontages of adjacent flat buildings forming the proposed Victoria Road Heritage Conservation Area and the sites of the adjacent residential flat building and church immediately to the east.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199505 May 06 55 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 20147223 May 15   
Within a conservation area on an LEPWoollahraLEP 199505 May 06 55 
Heritage studyTanner 01 Jan 98   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
 2003 Colin Brady Architecture + Planning  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenH E Rogers1939BA 173/39
WrittenLibby Maher2004Amendments heritage inventory sheet
WrittenRosemary Broomham2002Bellevue Hill Thematic history

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: 2711057

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