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
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Block of Flats
Primary address: 32 Etham Avenue, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
32 Etham AvenueDarling PointWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The site of 32 Etham Avenue, Darling Point has historic significance as part of the earlier estate of Etham House. The remaining gateposts are significant as the only remnants of this earlier estate.
No 32 has aesthetic significance for its strong contribution to the streetscape of Etham Avenue precinct especially as a landmark element at the end of Etham Avenue and as a largely intact and fine example of a three storey residential flat building constructed in the period of development after the sale and subdivision of the Etham Estate.
The building has social significance as part of the evolutionary development of the district and as a fine example of the quality of design and fabric which made up this building.
The two buildings located either side of this corner are of comparative significance for the contribution they make to the surroundings and their relationship to the largely single dwelling residences within the streetscape generally. No 32 Etham Avenue is a fine largely intact example of medium sized residential flat building which is indicative of the evolutionary development in the district around the early decades of the 20th century.
Date significance updated: 13 Nov 03
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: Architect Unknown
Physical description: The architect and builder of the flat building at 32 Etham Avenue are unknown.
The building was designed in a simplified Federation Free Style which relied on the use of fine materials and simple classical detailing for its quality.
The building is three storey constructed in dark blue face brickwork with render detailing and the main entrance opens from the south facing Sutherland Crescent. A deep covered porch with entablature and columns gives entry into the main hall
The roof is a typical high pitched hip clad in slate with the Sutherland Crescent façade featuring a pedimented parapet over the two projecting wings on either side of the entrance
The property is enclosed by a low brick wall with mature palms and trees.
A garage with loft rooms is located at the rear boundary off Etham Avenue and the driveway is defined by the former gateposts of Etham House.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building appears to be in excellent condition externally and also appears to have retained much of the original detailing. It would appear from a cursory external inspection that there are no structural problems with the brickwork and that the timberwork has been maintained in good condition throughout.
An internal inspection has not been made so it is impossible to assess how intact the building is internally.
Date condition updated:13 Nov 03
Modifications and dates: The building appears to be in good condition and in a largely intact state.
Further information: The intact nature and good condition of this building add to the quality of design, detailing and fabric to make this a fine example of a residential flat building which was fashionable in the early decades of the 20th century
The Victorian gateposts which are intact at the driveway of this building are significant as the only remnants of the earlier ‘Etham Estate’.
Current use: Residential falt building
Former use: Residential falt building


Historical notes: Etham Estate was released for sale by the Estate of the late James Sutherland Mitchell in 1900-1903 and 1905. Mitchell was an Alderman (1873-1889) and Mayor (elected 1877) of Woollahra Council. He was in the Commissariat in Hobart and was a partner in Tooth and Co the Brewers. James Mitchell was not a relative of Thomas Mitchell. Following Mitchell’s death in 1893 his estate was subdivided and the house Etham was demolished in 1918-19. The land on which No 24 Etham Avenue is constructed was put up for auction as part of Etham Estate in 1901 and the remainder was auctioned again in 1903.
The Woollahra rate books of 1918 record that James Bennett re-subdivided Lot 1 of the Etham Estate to form lots 1 to 7 and the Woollahra Rate book records Mrs Dickson as new owner of Lots 1 & 2 of this resubdivision.
Woollahra Council lists an application by Mrs Dickson to erect a house on ‘Lot 1 Bennet Estate (resubdivision of Etham)’ in 1917. The Sands Directory of 1919 lists a building named “Craigeval Flats” on the site and the name changes to “Craigevar” in the 1926 listing.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site has significant as part of the ongoing development of the Darling Point area and as a part of the former Etham Estate which was subdivided in the first decade of the 20th century. The gate posts at the driveway are of rare historical significance as the only visible remnant of the earlier Etham Estate.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building has aesthetic significant as a relatively intact and fine example of the style of residential flat building which was fashionable in the early decades of the 20th century. The building is indicative of the type and quality of flat building which was part of the wave of redevelopment occurring throughout the eastern suburbs at this time.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The building is a good example of the variety of style which made up the building types of the early decades of the 20th century and has research potential for the ability to illustrate this variety.
SHR Criteria g)
No 32 Etham Avenue is a fine representative example demonstrating the principal characteristics of the early 20th century residential flat building which was typical of the evolutionally development in the Darling Point area.
Integrity/Intactness: The origainl fabric of the item remains largely intact internally. Aspects which make up the aestehtcio significaine of this building include the intact form and style of the building, the intact face brickwork and the simplified classical detailing. The two gateposts located at the rear of the flats are significiant as the only visisble remannet fothe earlier Etham Esatate. The location of the building in relation to Etham Avenue and Sutherland Crescent and the prominence which this building shares with no 41 Etham Avenue makes it an important addition to the immediate area in Etham Avenue.
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:

Any future proposals for modifications to the building should respect the form and style of the building. There should be no additions which break the roofline, enlarge or fill in the existing window and door openings, modify the style and type of windows or remove or modify the significant detailing externally. All face brick walls which were originally unpainted should remain unpainted. The form and fabric of the roof should be retained and only modifications allowed which do not alter the intact nature of the building when viewed from Etham Avenue or Sutherland Crescent. Low scale fencing should be retained around the major boundaries to allow views and vistas of the building within the context of the streetscape.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 1995 Am 3522 Jun 01 100 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 201412323 May 15   
Within a conservation area on an LEPEtham Avenue HCALEP 1995 Am 3522 Jun 01 100 
Heritage studyEtham Ave    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Heritage Assessment Report - 37-39 & 41 Etham Avenue Darling Point and Etham Avenue Precinct200032 Etham AvenueFraser Hugh  Yes
Etham Avenue Heritage Inventory sheets2000No 32 Etham AvenueGlen Cowell Heritage Services  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1932Sands Directory

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: 2711247

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