Mindarraba - house, grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Mindarraba - house, grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La

Item details

Name of item: Mindarraba - house, grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 16 Mona Road, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
16 Mona RoadDarling PointWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The subdivision and the house demonstrate a major historical phase in the development of Darling Point as a residential suburb in the early part of the 20th century. This phase saw the breaking up of the early large land grants and estates, in this case the Mona Estate, and the closer subdivision and development of the southern part of the peninsular for good quality upper middle class investment housing, principally for the rental market. The house also demonstrates the trend in the area to higher residential densities commencing in the 1920s with the widespread conversion of houses to duplexes and flats.

The house is a fine representative example of good quality upper middle class investment housing built in the Federation Queen Anne style popular at the time, and provides evidence of the aesthetic tastes of the period. The building demonstrates many of the key characteristics of the style and a range of characteristic formal and decorative elements and finishes including an extensive use of decorative timber work in various forms such as half-timbered gable ends, turned timber verandah posts with timber capitals, balustrades and friezes and elaborate curved and turned brackets.

The house is a significant component of the distinctive streetscape of the locality in both Mona Road (including the characteristic street trees) and in Mona Lane. The sandstone retaining wall to Mona Lane continues the sandstone wall of the neighbouring properties and the relationship of the building with the landform and its neighbours are all characteristic of the streetscape of this locality.
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: Not known
Builder/Maker: Not known
Construction years: 1905-1910
Physical description: Two storey Federation Queen Anne house converted to flats in the 1960s. The house is sited below the level of Mona Road on an allotment which slopes from its main frontage to Mona Road to a rear boundary to Mona Lane, and abuts its smaller southern neighbour at No 14. The view of the house from Mona Road is partially obscured by the fall from the road level and by a substantial recently built double carport set back from the street alignment in front of it on a reinforced concrete slab and incorporating an access bridge on its southern side to the entrance to the upper floor flat. The carport faithfully reproduces the form, materials, colours and details of the main house and visually relates well to it, producing a pleasing and unified overall composition, although this may obscure its history to a casual observer. Brick walls with a dressed sandstone coping and base course and a timber gate complete each side of the Mona Road frontage, the southern side appearing to be more related to No 14. Each gate opens to a flight of external stairs which descend to a courtyard at the ground floor level behind a rusticated sandstone wall retaining the footpath; the northern is the ‘front’ entry with sandstone stairs and cast iron balusters, and the southern, in concrete with a simple steel handrail is the service entrance. The rear of the house is elevated above the level of Mona Lane, with the rear of the site retained by a rusticated sandstone wall continuing those of neighbouring properties. The wall is surmounted by a modern tubular aluminium fence largely covered by climbers.

The house is constructed of red face brick with rusticated sandstone foundation walls. The roof, which has recently been replaced, is of unglazed ‘Marseilles’ pattern terra cotta roof tiles with matching ridges and small finials. Two prominent gable ends and a small gablet face the street, with two more gables on the western (Mona Lane) elevation, and the carport continues this theme. All gable ends have wide barge boards above heavily textured roughcast stucco between vertical battens creating a half timbered effect. The purlins project to support the eaves overhangs and barge boards, and the rafters ends are expressed. The western elevation, to which the house is orientated, has a large double storey verandah extending the width of the building with a facetted projecting bay at its northern end.

The house features extensive use of decorative timber work in various forms. The verandah has turned timber posts with timber capitals and timber balustrades and friezes (arched in some bays) of close-set vertical battens. The original entrance to the house (now the entrance to the lower flat) is via a large porch in a wing which projects on the northern side of the building, featuring rusticated sandstone semicircular arches and pilasters and a tessellated tile floor and a projecting bay window above with its own timber shingled awning roof. Elaborate curved and turned brackets are used in this complex part of the design. A first floor balcony appears to have been enclosed.
The gable end treatment, verandah posts, capitals and balustrades have been replicated in the design of the carport and access bridge. Steel security grilles have been fixed on all windows at the front of the house.

An prominent feature in the roofscape of the house is a square, diagonally placed, ogee-shaped, copper sheathed domical vault, probably housing a skylight, raised above the ridge of the surrounding tiled roof on a square shaft clad in roughcast stucco with decorative timber battens incorporating a circular motif (see image below). There are four brick chimneys with roughcast stucco and brick decoration and terra cotta chimney pots.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Excellent condition, well maintained.
Date condition updated:31 Mar 06
Modifications and dates: 1959 - Alterations and additions
1961 - Conversion to flats and alterations and additions
1981 - Alterations and additions
1995 - Alterations and additions
1996 - Addition of family room
Further information: Forms part of a distinctive streetscape in Mona Road, which includes the ficus hillii street trees. The house and the sandstone retaining wall at the rear of the property contribute to the characteristic streetscape to Mona Lane and to significant views of the row of houses from New Beach Road and Rushcutters Bay Park.
Current use: Residence - flats
Former use: Residence

History

Historical notes: The site is part of a 15 acre grant by Governor Brisbane to his astronomer, James Dunlop in the mid 1830s. Dunlop did not build on the land. In 1841 he sold it to Thomas Ware Smart who, a year later, built the house known as ‘Mona’ which still exists at 38 Mona Road. The Mona Estate was subdivided in the 1880s, with Mona Road providing access from Darling Point Road, and lots on its eastern side offered for sale. This subdivision does not appear to have proceeded. The land was resubdivided in 1904 with Mona Road taking a substantially different alignment and connecting with New South Head Road. The subject allotment was created in this subdivision.

The house was built between 1905 and 1910 and converted to flats in the early 1960s.

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. Street patterns and subdivision-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The subdivision and the house demonstrate a major historical phase in the development of Darling Point as a residential suburb in the early part of the 20th century. This phase saw the breaking up of the early large land grants and estates, in this case the Mona Estate, and the closer subdivision and development of the southern part of the peninsular for good quality upper middle class investment housing, principally for the rental market. The house also demonstrates the trend in the area to higher residential densities commencing in the 1920s with the widespread conversion of houses to duplexes and flats.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Does not meet the inclusion guidelines for this criterion.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The house is a fine substantially intact example of good quality upper middle class investment housing built in the Federation Queen Anne style popular at the time, and provides evidence of the aesthetic tastes of the period. The building demonstrates many of the key characteristics of the style and a range of characteristic formal and decorative elements and finishes including an extensive use of decorative timber work in various forms such as half-timbered gable ends, turned timber verandah posts with timber capitals, balustrades and friezes and elaborate curved and turned brackets.

The building is a significant component of the distinctive streetscape of the locality in both Mona Road (including the characteristic street trees) and in Mona Lane. The sandstone retaining wall to Mona Lane continues the sandstone wall of the neighbouring properties and the relationship of the building with the landform and its neighbours are all characteristic of the streetscape of this locality.

The house forms part of group of houses in Mona Road of similar scale, form and character all built within the first decade of the 20th century. In combination, the winding alignment of Mona Road, the large ficus hillii street trees and the group of buildings form a distinctive streetscape characteristic of Mona Road. Significant views of the rear of the group, to which their designs are generally orientated, are available from Mona Lane, New Beach Road and Rushcutters Bay Park.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Does not meet the inclusion guidelines for this criterion.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Does not meet the inclusion guidelines for this criterion.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Does not meet the inclusion guidelines for this criterion.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The building is a good representative example of a Federation Queen Anne house.
Integrity/Intactness: The building substantially retains the integrity of its original design and construction.
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.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199522 Jul 05 52 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 201416023 May 15   
Within a conservation area on an LEPMona Road HCALEP 199527 Feb 04 46 
Heritage studyTanner 01 Jan 97   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Darling Point Heritage Item Study2003 Mark Robinson  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenRate books/BA records  
WrittenRosemary Broomhead2001Darling Point: Thematic History
WrittenTanner & Associates1997Preliminary Heritage Item Investigation - Darling Point

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

rez
(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: 2711530


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