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House and grounds

Item details

Name of item: House and grounds
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 2 Sutherland Crescent, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
2 Sutherland CrescentDarling PointWoollahra  Primary Address
14 Etham AvenueDarling PointWoollahra  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The site of 14 Etham Avenue, Darling Point has some historic significance as part of the earlier estate of Etham House. The building has aesthetic significance for its contribution to the streetscape of Etham Avenue precinct and as a largely intact and fine example of a residence constructed in the period of development after the sale and subdivision of the Etham Estate. The building is significant as a design of the architectural firm of Morrow & De Putron, designers of the nearby mansion Babworth House for the Hordern family. The house is a fine and largely intact example of a medium sized residence in an Australian variation of the English Queen Anne style, using face bricks and tile hanging as decoration.
The building has social significance as part of the evolutionary development of the district and as an example of the more compact residence which was designed for the minimum of household assistance.
The buildings on this corner are of comparative significance for the contribution they make to the surroundings and context of the adjoining buildings.
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: Morrow and De putron, Architects
Physical description: The building at 14 Etham Avenue was designed by Morrow and De Putron, architects of the nearby mansion building Babworth House for Samuel Hordern, brother of the well known Sydney storekeeper, Anthony Hordern.
The building was designed in a simplified Federation Arts and Crafts style and constructed of face brick with a slate roof
The house is two storey with the living areas all situated on the ground floor and the main entrance located from Etham Avenue with a deep covered porch entering into the main hall with a drawing room and library opening north to a prominent verandah overlooking Sutherland Crescent and a Dining room , Kitchen and laundry on the south side. The main staircase is ;located at the end of the main hall and gives access to three bedrooms, bathroom and wc, maids room and the upper level of the north facing verandah opening off bedroom one and two.
The roof is a typical high pitched hip with a projecting gable over the drawing room and main bedroom. The roof is clad in shingles and the gable end is finished with timber shingles which is matched on the verandah and at the bases of the bay windows. The chimney is of face brick with corbelled bands and headers, The windows appear to be original timber frame double hung sashes with diamond pattern glazing and small panes to the upper sash.
The property has a low brick wall and chainwire fence which is covered with climbing vines to Etham Avenue frontage while the Sutherland Crescent frontage is largely hidden behind a hedge and landscaping.
A single garage is located at the rear boundary of Etham Avenue.
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, particularly the timber joinery of bay windows and verandahs as well as the shingle cladding of the eaves and verandah. 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, however the intact nature of the exterior detailing indicates that extensive modification of the interior may not have taken place other than modernising the kitchen and bathrooms.
Date condition updated:13 Nov 03
Modifications and dates: 1923 Approval for construction of house
1924 House constructed ‘Loomberah’ and recorded in rate book of 1926.
1928 listing notes Mr Wynne Roberts J.P. as resident
1929 1947 Roberts commissioned Spain and Cosh Architects to convert his residence to ‘double living units’
Further information: The building appears to be in good condition and in a largely intact state.
The intact nature and good condition of this building adds to the quality of design, detailing and fabric to make this a fine example of the style of building which was fashionable in the early decades of the 20th century
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence


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 14 Etham Avenue is constructed was put up for auction as Etham Estate in 1901 and the remainder was auctioned again in 1903.
No 14 Etham Avenue was one of the 14 unsold lots from earlier auctions put up for sale in 1905. The property was purchased by Frank Kleemo who re-subdivided and sold off pt 5/6 lot B. Wynn Roberts and insurance broker is recorded as owner of Lot A pt 5/6 in the rate book of 1924. The existing house was constructed in 1926 to a design by the architectural firm of Morrow & DePutron. According to records held at Mitchell Library, Roberts commissioned the architectural firm Spain and Cosh to convert his residence to a double living unit.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site has significance 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
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The building has historic significance for its age and the association as a design by the architectural firm of Morrow and De Putron, architects of the nearby Babworth House for a member of the well known Hordern family. The ‘double living unit’ conversion was designed by the well known firm of Spain and Cosh.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building at 14 Etham Avenue has aesthetic significance as a relatively intact and fine example of the style of building which was fashionable at the turn of the century. The house is significant as a design by Morrow and De Putron Architects and is a good example of one of the various styles which made up the Federation Period housing throughout Sydney in the early decades of the 20th century. The house is indicative of the type and quality of housing which was part of the wave of redevelopment occurring throughout the eastern suburbs at this time
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The building has significance for its association with two well known architectural firms in the early decades of the twentieth century.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The house is a good example of the variety of style and material which made up the fashionable buildings of the early decades of the 20th century and has research potential for the ability to illustrate this variety.
SHR Criteria g)
No 14 Etham Avenue is a fine representative example demonstrating the principal characteristics of the Federation Period residence which was typical of the evolutionary development in the Darling Point precinct in the early decades of the 20th century.
Integrity/Intactness: The original fabric of the item retains largely intact externally. Aspects which make up the aesthetic significant of this building include the intact two storey form and style of the building, the window detailing including the diamond pattern and small pane design, the hoods over windows, the exposed rafter ends, the intact face brickwork. The location of the building in relation to Etham Avenue and Strickland Crescent and the existing context which this building currently shares with No 4 Sutherland Crescent and the immediate buildings 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:

The building is recommended for inclusion in the Woollahra LEP as a heritage item. 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 timber 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. Additions may be allowed at the rear of the building if designed and constructed in a sympathetic style and fabric but should be secondary to the form of the original building. 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 Local Environmental Plan 201418223 May 15   
Within a conservation area on an LEPEtham Avenue HCALEP 1995 Am 3522 Jun 01 100 
Heritage studyTanner    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Heritage Assessment Report - 37-39 & 41 Etham Avenue Darling Point and Etham Avenue Precinct2000 Fraser Hugh  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1932Sands Directory
WrittenGlen Cowell Heritage Services Pty. Ltd.2000Heritage inventory sheet
WrittenHugh M. Fraser2000Heritage Assessment Report

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: 2711294

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