St Bernard Hall - residential flat building and grounds | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


St Bernard Hall - residential flat building and grounds

Item details

Name of item: St Bernard Hall - residential flat building and grounds
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Flat
Primary address: 9 Balfour Road, Bellevue Hill, NSW 2029
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
9 Balfour RoadBellevue HillWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The site demonstrates a moderate degree of historic significance as a representative example of the second wave of residential consolidation of this part of Rose Bay following subdivision in the early years of the 20th century good. The building demonstrates a moderate degree of aesthetic significance through its ability to describe changing aesthetic values in the Inter War period. It is a representative example of 1920’s flat development, the best example of several similar large blocks built by Mr Park. The building demonstrates changing tastes in architecture for flat building and the use of typical Inter War design ideas on a building of some visual prominence, which is substantially intact. The building does not demonstrate high style architectural design.
Date significance updated: 22 Jul 05
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: John Hepburn Park
Construction years: 1927-1928
Physical description: Three-storey brick and tile block of 12 flats erected in 1925. Dark face brickwork panelling with split faced cream trims to the window heads and sills. The design is symmetrical around a centrally placed entry feature on Powell Road. The design features Federation style fenestration with crossed glazing bars and an idiosyncratic large “wheel” window at the entry. The terra cotta hipped tiled roof has deep panelled boxed eaves. The building is one of a group of similar Inter War period flat building designs located throughout the area.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building was repaired following damage by bombing at the end of the second World War. Split brick trims painted. Some minor modifications.
Date condition updated:29 Mar 06
Modifications and dates: Renovation following bomb damage 1942. The building was altered to strata title in 2000
Further information: One of several similar designs in the area. Located on a prominent corner site.
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence


Historical notes: St Bernard Hall at 9 Balfour Road Rose Bay, stands on land that was originally part of the Cooper Estate and part of the grounds of Rose Bay Lodge built for the Coopers the 1830's. In the early years of the twentieth century the area surrounding Rose Bay Lodge was subdivided and offered for sale as the Beresford Estate. Lot 2 of Section 4 of the Beresford Estate was purchased by S.A Metcalf and the rate books show that by 1903 a house had been built on the site.. Miss Evans purchasd the cottage in 1910 and remained its owner until 1924 when it was sold to F.J. Parrett. Since construction the house was variously named Tyndale, The Bungalow and Lavinia.

When John Hepburn Park, a builder, purchased the property in 1927 he applied to council to demolish the existing cottage and to construct 12 residential flats on the site. (Park was responsible for the development of a number of corner sites in the area). The cost of construction was recorded in council minutes on 24th October 1927 as £10,000. The flats were completed the following year and immediately sold to Mrs Ada Bernard who gave the building its name "St Bernard Hall". During the following decades the property went in and out of the ownership of its original owner Mr J.H. Park who was still the listed owner at his death in 1962. The property was transferred to Kenneth Wallace Park in 1967 and was still listed in his ownership in the 1968 rate books (the last such record available in the collection) The Park family retained ownership until 2001. In 1942 the building was damaged by shelling from a Japanese submarine in Sydney Harbour.

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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The building demonstrates a moderate degree of historic significance as a representative example of the second wave of residential consolidation of this part of Rose Bay following subdivision in the early years of the 20th century. The building is an important part of the evolution of the area for apartment development in the inter war period. The building also has some interest for the fact that it was damaged by bombing in the Second World War. It remained in the original family ownership of Mr John Park, until its sale in 2001.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building demonstrates a moderate degree of aesthetic significance through its ability to describe changing aesthetic values in the Inter War period and the adoption of design idioms in a speculative development. The source of the design is most likely to have been American magazines combined with the use of materials and detailing, eg. face brickwork and crossed joinery window detailing, common at the time. The building occupies an important corner site in a conservation area helping to establish its character.
SHR Criteria g)
The building is a good representative example of a building type, which arose in the post World War 1 era and is the best example of a group of similar buildings.
Integrity/Intactness: The building is largely intact and in sound condition.
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:

Record of war damage. Schedule of maintenance and repairs to be prepared and implemented. Heritage colour schemes to be prepared and implemented. Sympathetic security measures to be determined.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199522 Jul 05 52 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 201430223 May 15   
Within a conservation area on an LEPBalfour Road HCALEP 199527 Feb 04 46 
Heritage studyTanner 01 Jan 97   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Woollahra Council Heritage Conservation Area Study - Balfour Road Precinct2002 Noel Bell Ridley Smith and Partners  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenCaroline Yeh2002Research Paper - 9 Balfour Road
WrittenSydney Morning Herald2001War Stories

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

(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: 2711213

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