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

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Winburn - house grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La

Item details

Name of item: Winburn - house grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 20 Mona Road, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
20 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 demonstrates the nature of upper middle class investment housing built in the area at the time and the trend in the area to higher residential densities commencing in the 1920s with the widespread conversion of houses to duplexes and flats.
One of three originally identical adjoining houses, the building is a fine representative example of good quality upper middle class investment housing built in a restrained version of 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 the Art Nouveau curved timber arch to the entrance porch, decorative fretwork gable end detailing, turned timber verandah posts, fretwork beam ends and fretwork and spindle work friezes.

The three buildings are part of group of houses in Mona Road of similar scale, form and character all built within the first decade of the 20th century and later converted to duplexes, but substantially retaining their early forms. 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. The sandstone retaining wall to Mona Lane continues the sandstone wall of the neighbouring properties and contributes to its distinctive character. 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.
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: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Physical description: One of a group of three adjoining substantial two storey Federation Queen Anne houses (Nos 18, 20 and 22) built c.1908/9 as investment properties to the same plan and with almost identical detailing. The house was converted to a duplex in the late 1920s. The house is sited a full floor below the level of Mona Road on an allotment which slopes substantially from its main frontage to Mona Road to a rear boundary to Mona Lane. Like most of its neighbours, the primary orientation of the house is towards the west, now the rear of the site, with the eastern elevation facing Mona Road a secondary part of the building. The kitchen wing on the south of the property has been extended towards Mona Road with similar materials and colours, but with rusticated timber weatherboards in the gable end and without replicating the decorative timber work in the original gable end. The front of the property has a brick fence and a flat roofed garage with a roller door built in the 1960s Alongside the carport, a bridge of precast concrete slabs supported by brick piers built as part of the 1920s conversion provides level access to the upper flat from Mona Road. A gate on the street alignment opens to a tessellated tile landing and a flight of stairs down to an entry courtyard at ground floor level. A projecting two storey wing on the northern side of the house gives access to the lower flat via an entrance porch framed with an Art Nouveau curved timber arch. The rear of the house is elevated above the level of Mona Lane, with the steep rear of the site retained by a rusticated sandstone wall continuing those of neighbouring properties. There is a reinforced concrete pool in the rear garden.

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 tiles with matching ridges and small finials. A small gablet on the main roof facing the street and a matching gablet facing west have bargeboards cut out with a distinctive trefoil form, with timber ventilation louvres below. This distinctive detail makes the similarity with Nos 18 and 22 very obvious. The barge boards to the large gables at the front and back of the house are decorated with fretwork with a scalloped trim matching those on No 14, but with decorative timber work in the apexes which is very similar to but subtly different from that in Nos 18 and 22. The rear of the building on each level has a large projecting rectangular timber bay window supported on fretwork brackets and with its own awning roof. The rest of the rear elevation consists of a wide two storey balcony, projecting further at the upper level, which has been enclosed, with turned timber posts, fretwork beam ends and a timber boarded soffit. The lower balcony has a cast iron balustrade and a timber fretwork and spindle work frieze with fretwork brackets.
Two brick chimneys are decorated with projecting brick courses and have terra cotta chimney pots.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good condition
Modifications and dates: 1928 - Alterations and additions and conversion to two flats. Architects: William P Page ARIBA.
1956 - Alterations and additions
1962 - Alterations and additions
1966 - Alterations and additions; new carport
Further information: 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 and later converted to duplexes, but substantially retaining their early forms. 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. The house and the sandstone retaining wall at the rear of the property contribute to the characteristic streetscape of Mona Lane and to significant views of the row of houses from New Beach Road and Rushcutters Bay Park., to which their designs are generally orientated.
Current use: Residence
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 is a resubdivision of Lots 63 and 64 created in this subdivision.

The house known as ‘Winburn’ was built c.1908 as an investment property to the same plan and with almost the same detailing as Nos 18 and 22. Its first tenant was a Mr William K Johnson. In 1928, then under the management of the Perpetual Trustee Company, it was converted to a duplex (two flats). The internal stair was removed and a bridge built of precast concrete slabs supported by brick piers to provide level access to the upper flat from Mona Road. The original main entrance was retained as the entry to the lower flat, and other minor external and internal alterations were undertaken. A small flat was planned at lower ground floor level, but was not constructed.

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 demonstrates the nature of upper middle class investment housing built in the area at the time and 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]
One of three originally identical adjoining houses, the building is a fine substantially intact example of good quality upper middle class investment housing built in a restrained version of 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 the Art Nouveau curved timber arch to the entrance porch, decorative fretwork gable end detailing, turned timber verandah posts, fretwork beam ends and fretwork and spindle work friezes.

The three buildings are part of a group of houses in Mona Road of similar scale, form and character all built within the first decade of the 20th century and later converted to duplexes, but substantially retaining their early forms. 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.

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.
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 built for investment purposes.
Integrity/Intactness: The building substantially retains the integrity of its original design and construction. The rear elevation is the most original of the three cottages, retaining the original cast iron verandah railing to the lower floor and most of its original decorative timber detailing. External changes appear to be confined to the enclosure of the upper floor verandah, which appears capable of being reversed without difficulty.
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:

Encourage owner to reverse unsympathetic modifications such as the enclosure of the upper level verandah and to undertake general conservation of the property.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199522 Jul 05 52 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 201416323 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 Broomham2001Darling Point: Thematic History
WrittenTanner & Associates1997Preliminary Heritage Item Investigation - Darling Point

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: 2711549


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