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House and interiors, gardens, trees

Item details

Name of item: House and interiors, gardens, trees
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Villa
Primary address: 1 Rose Bay Avenue, Bellevue Hill, NSW 2023
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1 Rose Bay AvenueBellevue HillWoollahraAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The house at 1 Rose Bay Avenue is architecturally significant as an early example of the work of the influential architect, Professor Leslie Wilkinson in collaboration with John D. Moore. It displays many characteristics of Wilkinson’s work and it is part of an important group of houses and body of work carried out by Wilkinson in Woollahra between 1923 and 1971, including new houses and alterations and additions. The house is a refined example of a large house possessing well considered spatial arrangements that give sunny garden aspects to most rooms. It is a particularly interesting study revealing Professor Wilkinson's approach both to the original house and later additions, both with excellent details and Georgian/Mediterranean stylistic concepts that were the hallmarks of his career.

It is historically significant as evidence of the 1917 Cranbrook Estate subdivision and aesthetically significant for its contribution to the streetscape of Rose Bay Avenue and for its siting taking advantage of views and the northern orientation. The house remains substantially intact.

No. 1 Rose Bay Avenue is also significant for its associations with the following prominent people, who owned the property at different stages: Vincent Laidley Dowling, architect and member of the Dowling family, Alan Bond, entrepreneur, Australian of the Year 1987, later convicted for misuse of funds and Lionel John Charles Seymour Dawson-Damer, businessman and car collector.

The site is likely to be held in regard by the people of Woollahra and others interested in history and architecture, which is indicated by its local listing as a heritage item. It is relatively rare as a surviving example of Leslie Wilkinson's residential work.
Date significance updated: 12 May 20
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

Designer/Maker: Professor Leslie Wilkinson, John D. Moore (BA 5/1924)
Construction years: 1923-1924
Physical description: The dwelling on the site is a free standing, two storey rendered masonry dwelling. The dwelling is ‘U’ shaped, comprising a principal building form, which runs north- south, with a east-west running wing to either end. The roofs are pitched (principal building form) or hipped (wings) and clad in terracotta tile, with a rounded capping piece to the ridges. The eaves are wide and finished in slatted timber. There are three simply detailed masonry chimneys: one rising out of the front roof plane of the principal building form; one rising out of the southern roof plane of the northern wing; and one rising out of the northern roof plane of the southern wing.

The principal elevation is the western elevation, addressing Rose Bay Avenue. The western elevations of the two wings project slightly forwards of the front wall of the principal building form. Both elevations have a centrally positioned window at ground and first floor level. The windows are timber framed double hung sash windows, with six panes to each sash. The windows have rendered sills; the first floor windows have operable shutters. A rendered brick corbel line runs across the elevation beneath the first floor windows and continues around the building.

The main entrance lies in the centre of this elevation (part of the principal building form) and is marked by a porch with Ionic columns. The columns support masonry arch and a pitched, tiled, roof that extends beyond the columns to form a wide eave. The eave is timber lined with exposed rafters. The porch is approached up two shallow sandstone stairs. The front door is a timber panel door. The shape of an arched fanlight is recessed into the masonry wall above the door. There is a window to either side of the porch and three evenly spaced windows at first floor level. These windows match those described above; the first floor windows have operable shutters.

The northern elevation of the dwelling (being the northern elevation of the northern wing) is characterised by four regularly spaced timber framed, multiple-paned french doors opening onto the northern terrace at ground floor level and four timber framed double hung windows with six panes to each sash at first floor level. Doors and windows are regularly spaced and aligned one above the other. Both doors and windows have operable timber shutters.

A single storey rectangular bay projects forward at the western end of the elevation. French doors (with shutters) open onto the brick terrace at ground floor level. The walls of this bay rise into a low parapet, which forms the balustrade for a roof top terrace, accessed through a pair of french doors (with shutters) at first floor level. A pergola with four masonry columns and timber framing provides cover to the terrace and is attached to the building above the ground floor door height.

The southern elevation of the dwelling (being the southern elevation of the southern wing) is the only elevation that does not have symmetrical openings. This elevation is characterised by irregularly spaced timber framed double hung windows with six panes to each sash. Towards the western end of the elevation, there is a four-panelled door. There is a large bay window adjacent to the door. There are no shutters to the openings on this elevation. This elevation lies too close to the boundary to photograph. Refer to the plans that accompany this application.

The rear of the dwelling comprises the eastern elevation of the principal building form, the northern elevation of the southern wing, the southern elevation of the northern wing and the eastern ends of both wings.

A narrow cantilevered balcony runs across the rear elevation of the principal building form and returns along the southern elevation of the northern wing. Decorative timber brackets support the underside of the balcony. The balcony has a balustrade comprising squared posts, turned timber spindles and a top rail. The rear elevation of the principal building form is characterised by regularly spaced timber framed double hung windows (with six panes to each sash) and timber framed multiple paned doors. The southern elevation of the northern wing is characterised by timber framed doors and windows, detailed as described above. As noted above, the first floor balcony returns along this elevation.

The northern elevation of the southern wing has an arched loggia- comprising two arches supported by a Doric column-at ground floor level. Bricks stairs lead up to a narrow raised porch within the loggia. Windows and doors are as described above. Note the stucco mouldings on this elevation.

The eastern elevation of the northern wing has a deep loggia on the ground floor level- comprising two arches supported by a Doric column-and two timber framed double hung windows (with six panes to each sash) with shutters at first floor level. The eastern elevation of the southern wing has a timber framed window (as described above) with timber shutters at ground and first floor levels.

(Source: Weir Phillips Heritage, Heritage Impact Statement 1 Rose Bay Avenue Bellevue Hill May 2016).
Current use: Residential
Former use: Residential

History

Historical notes: Original Occupation

Although an Aboriginal history has not been provided for, it is acknowledged that the traditional owners of much of the Woollahra area were the Cadigal clan, while the harbour area around Watsons Bay and South Head was inhabited by the Birrabirragal clan. Both the Cadigal and Birrabirrigal clans belonged to the coastal Dharug language group.

Early European Associations

European association with present-day Woollahra began with the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Harbour. The first survey party to enter the heads at Sydney Harbour on 21 January, 1788 is thought to have landed at Camp Cove. In 1790, a signal station was established on South Head to provide advance notice to the settlement of the arrival of ships. As attested to by surviving letters and accounts this signal station was of vital importance to a colony starved of both food and ‘intelligence of our friends and connections ’(Watkin Tench cited in Eric Russell, Woollahra: A History in Pictures, Sydney, John Ferguson in association with Woollahra Municipal Council, 1980, p.9.) The word ‘Woo-la-ra’ first appears in a ‘List of Local Names, or of Places’ complied by David Southwell, the young lieutenant later placed in charge of the small military detachment stationed on South Head (David Southwell, letter dated 12 July, 1788, cited in ibid, pp.9-10.). It has been suggested that Woollahra was derived from the Aboriginal word ‘wulara’, meaning ‘camp’ or ‘meeting ground (Zeny Edwards, Caerleon: The Biography of a Queen Anne House. Unpublished report, September 1997).

The site was located outside the boundaries of the township of Sydney declared by Governor Phillips in 1792. The area, however, did not entirely escape notice; a government fishery and pilot station were established at Watsons Bay in 1792. These outposts were connected to Sydney Township by a rough track. The line of this track, first marked on a map by Captain Hunter in 1791, probably followed existing paths established by the Cadigal and referred to them as the Maroo. By the early 1800s this track was well established and is shown on several maps of the period as marking the way to South Head.

From January 1793 successive governors granted land outside the township boundaries to further the purposes of settlement. While land would be allocated to the east of Sydney during the early 1800s and the natural resources of the area exploited, much of present-day Woollahra remained sparsely settled until the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The opening of the South Head Road in 1811 (later Old South Head Road and Oxford Street) would play a central role in the development of the area.
While the South Head Road served a strategic purpose by forming a defensive link between Sydney and the South Head Signal Station (and, within five years, Greenway’s South Head Lighthouse), its most noted use over the following fifty years was as a tourist drive. When the New South Head Road opened in 1831, it was not uncommon to take a ‘round trip’ along both roads. The name of the present-day suburb, ‘Bellevue Hill’, meaning ‘beautiful hill’, is thought to have been derived from the use of the hill as a popular vantage point along the route (Surgeon Peter Cunningham (1789-1864) cited in Susanna Evans, Historic Sydney as Seen by its Early Artists, NSW, Doubleday, 1983, p.117).

Among the early grants made within the present-day municipal area were a number of grants around Double and Rose Bays made by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. The most influential of the early grantees was the flamboyant Naval Officer, Captain John Piper. It is upon part of a land grant to Captain John Piper that the subject property now stands.

Captain John Piper and the Point Piper Estate

John Piper (1773-1851) arrived in Sydney in February 1792 as an ensign in the New South Wales Corps. Within six years, he had become a full Captain and later became Acting Commandant on Norfolk Island. After resigning his commission, he was appointed Naval Officer for the Colony in 1814, which gave him a considerable income (For further information see: For further information see: Marjorie Barnard, 'Piper, John (1773–1851)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/piper-john-2552/text3449, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 6 August 2015)

In 1816, Piper was promised a grant of 190 acres, which was officially assigned under the hand of Governor Macquarie on 10 February 1820. It is upon this grant that the subject property now stands. As was common at this time, Piper’s grant had a number of conditions attached to it. Piper was not permitted to sell or alienate any part of the grant for five years and was required to cultivate 28 acres within the same period. The Crown reserved the right to resume land for road-making purposes and the right to all timber fit for naval purposes. The grant was subject to a Quit Rent of four shillings and was to be known as ‘the Point Piper Estate’ (Register of Grants 12/128. NSW LPI, Old Systems Records).

On his grant, Piper constructed Henrietta Villa at a cost of £10,000, where he and his family proceeded to entertain lavishly. The villa was a noted harbour landmark.
A close friend of Governor Macquarie, Piper continued to accumulate land and prestigious appointments. In 1821, Macquarie granted him an additional 500 acres, adjoining his existing grant to the south, in return for land at Charlotte Place that he had surrendered to the government. To these grants, Piper added smaller grants purchased from emancipists and soldiers. Ultimately, his land within the present-day Municipality of Woollahra comprised 475 acres at Vaucluse, 1,130 acres at Woollahra and Rose Bay, and 190 acres at Point Piper (R. Broomham, The Coopers of Woollahra: Land Dealings on the Point Piper Estate, 1820-1920. Unpublished Report for the Municipality of Woollahra Council, June 2001).. Piper owned other land in New South Wales and Van Dieman’s land.

Consolidation of land into large estates set the pattern for the first stage of development in the modern-day municipality. Watsons Bay would become one of the few areas to maintain a pattern of modest, individual land holdings throughout the nineteenth century. The first dwellings, including Captain Piper’s villa, ‘Henrietta Villa’, were orientated towards the harbour and were mostly located at Double Bay, Point Piper, Darling Point and the northern part of Rose Bay. While the subdivision of these estates was contemplated from an early date, the area relied heavily on private water transportation. Without ready land access, the first attempted subdivisions were not successful. For much of the nineteenth century, Woollahra would remain one of the ‘emptiest parts of the parish of Alexandria’ (Hughes, Truman and Ludlow, Heritage Study for the Municipality of Woollahra, Volume One. Unpublished report for the Municipality of Woollahra Council, 1984, p.10).

Piper’s downfall from grace was swift and dramatic. In 1827, following an inquiry into the affairs of the Bank of New South Wales, he resigned as chairman. In April of the following year, he was suspended as Naval Officer when another inquiry discovered a
£12,000 discrepancy in his official accounts. In order to satisfy his many debts, his real estate was sold.

Cooper and Levey and the Point Piper Estate

On 8 March, 1826, Captain Piper’s real estate in Woollahra was conveyed to the high successful business partnership of Daniel Cooper (1785-1853) and Solomon Levey (1794-1833) for 100,000 Spanish dollars.

Piper’s land was formally conveyed to Cooper and Levey as part of a consolidated grant of 1,130 acres made under the hand of Governor Darling on 22 March, 1830. This grant included a number of grants for which no formal deeds had ever been executed and which the partners had acquired over the preceding years. Under the terms of the grant, the partners were required to clear and cultivate eight acres of land or develop the grant to the value of £400 within a period of five years. The land was subject to an annual Quit Rent of one pound two shillings forever, unless redeemed within a period of twenty years (Crown Grant Serial 28, Page 1. NSW Land Titles Office, Old System Records). Covering the present- day suburbs of Double Bay, Edgecliff, Bellevue Hill, Woollahra, Point Piper and Rose Bay, the grant represents almost half of the present-day municipality.

Cooper and Levey, both emancipists, were importers, exporters, wool-buyers, ship owners and builders, shipping agents, whalers, sealers and merchants, they controlled a large proportion of the Colony’s business. The partnership also held large land holdings in New South Wales and Tasmania.

By the time that Cooper and Levey had acquired the Point Piper Estate, Sydney had developed substantially. The colony was now largely self-supporting; free market forces had replaced the earlier government monopolies. With a rising population, an end to the system of free grants (1831) and a growing economy, the value of land near Sydney increased. Soon after the partnership’s ownership of the land was confirmed, the line of the New South Head Road was surveyed (1831-2). Although its completion to an acceptable standard took many years, the improved means of access that it promised provided the first real incentive for more intensive development within the area.

Solomon Levey died in England in October 1833, naming his son, John Levey-Roberts, as chief beneficiary to his will. By 1847, however, ownership of the estate had passed solely into the hands of Daniel Cooper.

T.L. Mitchell’s Plan for Subdivision

During the mid 1840s, Surveyor T.L. Mitchell prepared a trigonometrical survey of the Estate with a plan for its subdivision and surveyed lines for what would later be Edgecliff, Bellevue and Victoria Roads. The Estate was divided into 153 larger holdings of three to twenty acres for villa estates or small farms, with a substantial group of township allotments in the south-west corner adjacent to the newly emerging village of Paddington. The subject property stands on part of Lot 17 of this subdivision.

The existing roads at this time were Old and New South Head Roads, Point Piper Road (now Jersey Road), Ocean Street north, and William and Cross Streets in Double Bay. Edgecliff, Bellevue, Victoria and Worsley Roads were passable tracks. Mitchell had Victoria Road and Bellevue Road, which approached the peak of ‘Belle Vue’ from the west, were roughly cleared. The quality of these roads, however, was poor. Other roads planned by Mitchell in the mid 1840s and which exist today, albeit in altered form, are Riddell Street and O’Sullivan Road (R. Broomham, op.cit., June 2001, p.2.).

In 1850-1, Daniel Cooper determined to realise some capital from the Point Piper Estate by the sale or lease of land (Ibid, p.9.). Suggested uses for leaseholds included suburban residences and market gardens. For the intending resident, leaseholds provided an economical means of acquiring a large estate to offset a lavish house; for the landowner, leaseholds retained a real estate asset that would be improved by the investment of others. It was a particularly suitable arrangement for the Point Piper Estate, much of which was relatively remote and without easy access. Suggested uses for leaseholds included suburban residences and market gardens. For the intending resident, leaseholds provided an economical means of acquiring a large estate to offset a lavish house; for the landowner, leaseholds retained a real estate asset that would be improved by the investment of others. It was a particularly suitable arrangement for the Point Piper Estate, much of which was relatively remote and without easy access.

Freehold sales ceased when news of Daniel Cooper’s death reached Sydney at the end of 1853. The Point Piper Estate was inherited not by Daniel Cooper’s next of kin, his nephew, Daniel Cooper (Daniel Cooper II), but by this Daniel Cooper’s eldest son, also Daniel (Daniel Cooper III). Trustees managed the estate until 1869. The area acquired its lasting name and anglicised spelling, Woollahra, during this period of Trusteeship, from the name Daniel Cooper II (later Sir Daniel) gave his intended mansion residence on the Estate, Woollahra House (James Jervis, op.cit., 196?., p.55).

While the sale of land was not permitted under the terms of the Trusteeship, the leasing of land was. During the period 1855 to 1869, a number of leaseholds were taken up. The pattern of town and villa lots envisaged by Mitchell was not always adhered to; many of the town lots adjoining upper Paddington, for example, were combined into larger estates, while others were subdivided and sublet. Most of these leaseholds had covenants attached, specifying the type of building and stipulating a minimum cost of construction.

Cranbrook

The earliest leaseholds in present-day Bellevue Hill were taken up in the 1850s. The first leasehold was a parcel of 40 acres taken up by the brewer, Edwin Tooth, on
1 December, 1856. Edwin did nothing to improve the property before he died in 1858. Edwin bequeathed his land to his two brothers, Frederick and Robert. Robert erected a dwelling on part of the leasehold, which he called Cranbrook after the ancestral district in Kent, England, from which the Tooth family originated. This dwelling, designed by Edmund Blackett and built in the Victorian Free Classical style, still stands within the Cranbrook School grounds. The subject site stands on part of the Cranbrook Estate.

In 1864, the leasehold for Cranbrook was sold to Robert Towns (1794-1873) a successful Sydney merchant and founder of the City of Townsville (For further information see: D. Shineberg, 'Towns, Robert (1794–1873)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/towns-robert-4741/text7873, published first in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 14 August 2015).

In 1873, the leasehold for Cranbrook was sold to James White (1828-1890), a pastoralist, racehorse breeder and politician (Martha Rutledge, 'White, James (1828–1890)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/white-james- 4837/text8073, published first in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 14 August 2015.). White engaged the architect Holbury Hunt to carry out extensive alterations to the property. After White’s death in 1890, his widow, Emily, married Captain William Scott, a Veterinary Surgeon who, by 1896, had been appointed the Principal Veterinary Surgeon at the Headquarters of the Veterinary Department of the Military Forces (Australian Veterinary History Record, March 2006, Number 45, p.9. For further information on Scott, see: Martha Rutledge, 'White, James (1828–1890)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/white-james- 4837/text8073, published first in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 6 August 2015).

It was Scott who purchased the freehold of the Estate and brought the land under the provision of the Real Property Act in 1902. Scott was issued with a Certificate of Title for 19 acres, 0 roods and 37 ½ perches of land on 21 September, 1905 (Primary Application No. 12333; Certificate of Title Volume 1636 Folio 248). The Scotts did not occupy the property at this time. Instead, Cranbrook was leased to the government as the residence of the Governor of NSW in 1901. Four Governors held office during the period when Cranbrook was owned by the Government: Earl Beauchamp (William Lygon), KCMG (1899-1901); Admiral Sir Harry Holdsworth Rawson, KCB (1902-1909); Baron Chelmsford (Frederic John Napier Thesiger), GCMG (later Viscount Chelmsford) (1909-1913); and Sir Gerald Strickland, Count della Catena, KCMG (1913-1917).

The State Library of NSW and State Records hold numerous photographs of Cranbrook during this period.

By 1906, Scott was unwilling to extend the lease of Cranbrook, preferring to sell or subdivide. Thus, in December 1907, 18 acres, 2 roods and 7 perches of Scott’s land, including the subject site, was transferred to the Crown (Certificate of Title Volume 1636 Folio 248 now Volume 1858 Folio 191. NSW LPI).

During the above period- 1860-1900- the foundations of present-day Woollahra were laid. The area was established as a municipality in 1860. Over the following forty years, the population would grow steadily as the large Victorian period estates were subdivided (including the Cooper Estate) and transportation improved.

Development, however, was never even across the area. In Bellevue Hill, large private villa estates, such as Cranbook, would continue to dominate until well into the nineteenth century. While the suburb gained a valuable amenity when Cooper Park was vested in the Council in 1879, basic amenities such as shops, hotels or churches would not appear until after World War I.

Cranbrook Estate Subdivision

In 1917, the Government subdivided Cranbrook and offered the lots for sale. The subject property comprises Lot 7 of this subdivision (D.P. 9005). Lot 7 was 2 roods and 15p in size. According to the subdivision plan, dated 27 October 1917, what is now Rose Bay Avenue was originally known as Gallipoli Avenue ( Certificate of Title, Vol. 1858, Folio 191. NSW LPI).

The sale in 1917 was described in The Sydney Morning Herald as one of the ‘most successful yet’ held in the Eastern Suburbs. The sale realised £53,651. For the lots that sold, the average price was between £2,000-£3,000 per Lot 7 (‘Cranbrook’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 September, 1917), which included the subject site, appeared to have remained unsold. On 30 April, 1923, this lot was re- granted (i.e. conveyed) to William Scott Fell, a Scottish-born shipping merchant. Six weeks later, on 11 June 1923, it was sold to Vincent Laidley Dowling, a student (LPI, Certificate of Title, Vol. 3490, Folio 153. NSW LPI.) As outlined below, it was Dowling who erected the existing dwelling on the site.

Vincent Laidley Dowling and the Construction of the Dwelling at 1 Rose Bay Avenue

Vincent Laidley Dowling was born in Darlinghurst in May 1888. He was the eldest son of James Arthur Dowling, solicitor; the grandson of James Sheen Dowling (1819- 1902), judge; and the great grandson of Sir James Dowling (1787-1844), the second chief justice of NSW (For further information on James Sheen Dowling, see: A. R. Dowling, 'Dowling, James Sheen (1819– 1902)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dowling-james-sheen-3436/text5233, published first in hardcopy 1972; For Sir James Dowling, see: C. H. Currey, 'Dowling, Sir James (1787–1844)', http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dowling-sir-james-1989/text2421, published first in hardcopy 1966).

Vincent Laidley Dowling did not follow family tradition and study law. Although he was interested in a career in architecture, he first enlisted in the British Royal Flying Corps in 1916 and, after training in the United Kingdom, was posted to France as a lieutenant to serve in World War I. He returned to Australia in late 1919 and enrolled in architecture at Sydney University the following year. His two younger brothers were both killed during World War I. Dowling also served with the RAAF during World War II (Australian War Memorial, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/RELAWM13584.001).

Dowling's architecture degree was conferred in 1924. While still a student, he commissioned Professor Leslie Wilkinson, the first Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at Sydney University, to design a dwelling for the Rose Bay Avenue site. The surviving drawings indicate that it was John D. Moore, however, who drew the scheme and carried out the contract administration (Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners Pty Ltd, Heritage Assessment of 1 Rose Bay Avenue, 10 April 2002). These plans provide a construction date of c.1923-4 for the dwelling.

The original 1929 plans show a ‘U-shaped’ floor plan. A large living area and study were located on the northern side of the ground floor, to maximising views across Rose Bay, as well as natural light. The dining room addressed the east-facing courtyard and was positioned between the entry hall and the kitchen. The southern wing of the dwelling was dedicated to service areas: a maid’s sitting room, kitchen, pantry, laundry and boiler room. There were four bedrooms upstairs, with the master bedroom located at the north-eastern end with an adjoining dressing room and ensuite bathroom.

Gallipoli Avenue was first listed in John Sands’ Sydney and Suburban Directories in 1926. In this year, there are three listings, including one for Dowling. Street numbers had yet to be introduced. The street is first listed under the name ‘Rose Bay Avenue’ in 1927. Two years later, street numbers were introduced; the subject property became, and remained, No. 1 Rose Bay Avenue. There were still only three listings for the street in this year; by 1930, a fourth listing is recorded. The number of entries remain unchanged in 1932-3, the last edition of the Sands' Directories.

During the above period, Dowling established himself as an architect. Dowling and John D. Moore joined with Herbert Wardell to form the architectural practice known as Wardell, Moore & Dowling in 1927, and later (following Wardell's retirement), Moore & Dowling. The practice produced a body of distinguished work, winning the Sulman Prize in 1937 for the west wing at Frensham School in Mittagong (Cedric Flower, 'Moore, John Drummond (1888–1958)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/moore-john- drummond-7638/text13353, published first in hardcopy 1986, accessed online 7 August 2015).

The dwelling was constructed during a period of growth in Woollahra. Between 1921 and 1933, the population of Woollahra rose from 30,280 people to 41,932 (Statistics from James Jervis, op.cit., n.d., p.177). Many of the new building applications made to Woollahra Council in this period were for residential flat buildings. Woollahra, like many harbourside municipalities, was transformed by the construction of this new building type. Not surprisingly, residential flat construction was a highly contentious issue (R. Broomham, op.cit., 2002, p.44).

The Architects of the Dwelling: Professor Leslie Wilkinson and John Drummond Macpherson Moore

Professor Leslie Wilkinson (1882-1973) arrived in Sydney in 1918 to take up the new Chair of Architecture within the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. The following year he was appointed University Architect, and a year later, became the first dean of the new Faculty of Architecture. He remained in this post for 20 years. Dowling had been one of the first people to meet Wilkinson on his arrival; the two became good friends.

While he took on a variety of work over the years he became particularly well known for his domestic work and the development of the Interwar Mediterranean Style.

During his career he designed over 30 new dwellings and flats. Woollahra Municipality contains a large body of this work.

Wilkinson recognised the similarities between the climate of Australia and the Mediterranean, where he had travelled before coming to Australia. He believed the style of architecture he had seen there suited our climate and favoured a mix of classical, Georgian and Mediterranean features such as arcades, courtyards, decorative ironwork, multi-paned double-hung windows fitted with shutters and terracotta tiled roofs. One of his best-known residential properties is Greenway, his own dwelling, erected in the same year as No. 1 Rose Bay Avenue, at No. 24 Wentworth Road, Vaucluse. Other important domestic commissions include 7 Boambillee Avenue, Vaucluse (1932); 6 Wiston Gardens, Double Bay (1932) and Greyleaves, Bowral (1934). Wilkinson's career was a distinguished one. He won the Sulman medal twice and the first Royal Australian Institute of Architecture Gold Medal in 1961 (Clive Lucas, 'Wilkinson, Leslie (1882–1973)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wilkinson-leslie- 9104/text16053, published first in hardcopy 1990, accessed online 11 August 2015).

As previously mentioned, the original drawings of No. 1 Rose Bay Avenue were done by John Drummond Macpherson Moore (1888-1954), who also carried out the contract administration. From 1919-1927 Moore was the instructor in architecture design and draughtsmanship at Sydney University. He was also an artist, having studied painting at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney after finishing secondary school (Cedric Flower, op.cit., 1986).

The dwelling at No. 1 Rose Bay Avenue shows influences from both Wilkinson and Moore. Attributes characteristic of Wilkinson’s work include the shutters, pergola, columns and arches, French doors opening onto paved terraces, and the central courtyard which provides rooms on the southern side of the floor plan with solar access. The influence of John Moore is believed to lie in the heavy roof lines, wide eaves and the entry porch (Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners, op.cit., 10 April 2002).

Transfer to S. D. Dowling and Later Additions

No. 1 Rose Bay Avenue was transferred to Sylvia Doris Dowling (nee Garvan) in 1926 following the dissolution of the couple's marriage (Certificate of Title Volume 3490 Folio 153. NSW LPI). The previous year, Sylvia had purchased the block to the north, now known as No. 577 New South Head Road, Rose Bay, presumably to protect views of Rose Bay from the site. When this land was sold in 1938 a covenant was imposed, with height and other development restrictions (Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners, op.cit., 10 April 2002).

No photographs of the property during the Dowling’s period of ownership have been found during the course of research for this statement, with the exception of an aerial photograph over the site dated 1943.

Sylvia Dowling continued to live on the property until 1979; all of her children and their families spent time living there as well. During her period of ownership, there were several alterations and additions to the dwelling: in 1929 (builder: C. Wild), 1934 (H. Goldsborough) and most notably during the 1940s, when Leslie Wilkinson designed a series of alternative renovation proposals for Captain John Dowling, the oldest of Vincent and Sylvia's three children. While many of these proposals were not realised, a first floor addition, containing four maids rooms, was added to the southern wing; garages were built under the northern terrace in 1945-46 (Building Application Registers and Index Cards, Woollahra Local History Collection, Woollahra Council). By 1945, Wilkinson had added a pergola of strong ‘South African qualities’ to the northern terrace, ‘giving it the air of a stoop of a Cape Dutch house' (Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners, op.cit., 10 April 2002).

In late 1963 the dwelling was transferred to a family company, Sylvia Pty Ltd and later, in 1965, to Willow Farm Investments (Certificate of Title Volume 3490 Folio 153. NSW LPI).

In 1970, John Laidley and Mary Dowling returned to live with Sylvia. Alterations were made by architect Charles C. Phillips. Alterations included the construction of a kitchen within the rear courtyard (later demolished) (Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners, op.cit., 10 April 2002).

Later Owners

When Sylvia moved to a nursing home in late 1979 the property was sold to the entrepreneur Alan Bond (Certificate of Title Volume 3490 Folio 153). Under his ownership (from 1979-1989) a swimming pool with a pavilion and a tennis court were constructed in the rear garden and the dwelling was renovated. The alterations and additions were designed by Architect Andre Porebski and included enlarging the study to form a billiard room and enclosing the western end of the pergola, an alteration foreseen by Wilkinson in one of his 1940s schemes (Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners, op.cit., 10 April 2002).

In December 1989 the property was transferred to Bond's son, John Bryan Bond, and his wife Gemma. It was sold in 1991 to the Honourable Lionel John Charles Seymour Dawson-Damer (1940-2000), a businessman and keen motoring enthusiast who died racing one of his own Lotus cars in England in 2000. The property then passed to his widow, Ashley Dawson-Damer (nee Mann), a published author and philanthropist. In 2002 it was sold to the James family.(Transfers attached to Certificate of Title Volume 3490 Folio 153. NSW LPI).
Ownership has not been ascertained beyond 2002.

(Source: Weir Phillips Heritage, Heritage Impact Statement 1 Rose Bay Avenue Bellevue Hill May 2016).

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. Architect designed house-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. The work of leading architects-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
‘The house at 1 Rose Bay Avenue is architecturally significant as an early example of the work of the influential architect, Professor Leslie Wilkinson in collaboration with John D. Moore. It displays many characteristics of Wilkinson’s work and it is part of an important group of houses and body of work carried out by Wilkinson in Woollahra between 1923 and 1971, including new houses and alterations and additions. It is also historically significant as evidence of the 1917 Cranbrook Estate subdivision.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
No. 1 Rose Bay Avenue is also significant for its associations with the following prominent people, who owned the property at different stages: Vincent Laidley Dowling, architect and member of the Dowling family, Alan Bond, entrepreneur, Australian of the Year 1987, later convicted for misuse of funds and Lionel John Charles Seymour Dawson-Damer, businessman and car collector.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
A refined example of a large house possessing well considered spatial arrangements that give sunny garden aspects to most rooms. It is aesthetically significant for its contribution to the streetscape of Rose Bay Avenue.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The building is likely to be held in regard by the people of Woollahra and others interested in history and architecture, which is indicated by its local listing as a heritage item.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The building is relatively rare as a surviving example of Leslie Wilkinson's residential work.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The house is a particularly interesting study revealing Professor Wilkinson's approach both to the original house and later additions, both with excellent details and Georgian/Mediterranean stylistic concepts that were the hallmarks of his career.
Integrity/Intactness: The house remains substantially intact.
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:

Where proposed work requires prior consent from Woollahra Council, the applicant must include a statement of heritage impact addressing the proposed work as part of the development application package. Any changes to the place should be appropriately located and be sympathetic to the identified heritage significance of the place. Elements of high significance should be retained, maintained and conserved. Elements identified as intrusive should be removed when possible.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra Local Environmental Plan 20145123 May 15   
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedWoollahraLEP 199510 Mar 95 281356

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Woollahra Heritage Study 19841984BH-16Hughes Trueman Ludlow  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenClive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners2002Heritage Assessment of 1 Rose Bay Avenue
WrittenWeir Phillips20161 Rose Bay Avenue Bellevue Hill Heritage Impact Statement

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

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(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: 2711404


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