Greycliffe Flats - house grounds and sandstone retaining wall to street | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Greycliffe Flats - house grounds and sandstone retaining wall to street

Item details

Name of item: Greycliffe Flats - house grounds and sandstone retaining wall to street
Other name/s: (Since 1922 with No 21 Mona Road) Myrnong
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Block of Flats
Primary address: 23 Mona Road, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
23 Mona RoadDarling PointWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The subdivision and the building 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 building demonstrates the nature of 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 two originally identical adjoining houses, the building is a fine representative example of good quality upper middle class investment housing built in the Federation Arts and Crafts 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 the large brick arch with inset Art Nouveau inspired terra cotta decorative elements framing the entrance porch, moulded brick string and cill courses, polychrome brickwork, terra cotta decorative wall tiles, pebble dash stucco and half timbering and timber eaves brackets.

With its neighbouring near twin, the building is part of a group on the southern side of Mona Road, comprising Nos 9 to 25/27, which form a cohesive streetscape. The sandstone retaining wall, the relationship of the cottages with the street, and the mature ficus hillii street trees are all characteristic of the streetscape of the 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 recorded
Builder/Maker: Not recorded
Physical description: Elevated two storey Federation Arts and Crafts house, converted in 1920 to two flats. The unfussy design relies on strong building forms including a projecting double storey facetted bay with wide eaves and a large brick archway over the entrance porch with a deep well enclosed timber verandah above. The walls are of red brick work with restrained decoration in the form of moulded brick string and cill courses and sparing use of polychrome brickwork elements in the side elevations. Cast terra cotta decorative wall tiles are used below the bay windows in the projecting bay, and large cast terra cotta decorative elements in an Art Nouveau design are incorporated above the brick archway over the entrance porch. The deep timber balcony above the entrance archway has a painted timber balustrade and valance. The hipped roof is of slate with terra cotta ridge tiles with a small gablet faced with pebble dash stucco and half timbering. Rafter ends are exposed, the wider eaves over the projecting bay being supported by timber brackets. Chimneys appear to be intact.

The house was originally identical in form, materials and detail to its neighbour at No 21 Mona Road, but mirror reversed. The two houses sit above a very substantial rusticated ashlar sandstone retaining wall on the street alignment and share a well made entry sandstone stairway with dressed sandstone copings.

The retaining wall is characteristic of this part of Mona Road, as are the large ficus hillii street trees.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Excellent condition, well maintained.
Date condition updated:22 Jul 05
Modifications and dates: 1920 - converted to two flats
1981 & 1982 - alterations and additions
Further information: Forms part of cohesive streetscape which includes the substantial rusticated sandstone street front retaining walls and mature ficus hillii street trees.
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. This subdivision does not appear to have proceeded. The land was resubdivided in 1904 with Mona Road taking a substantially different route and connecting with New South Head Road, and this and the neighbouring lots were created.
Together with its near twin at No 21 Mona Road, the house was built c.1908, apparently as an investment property, and leased for residential purposes.

Both houses were converted to duplexes in 1920 and renamed ‘Greycliffe Flats’.

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 building 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 building demonstrates the nature of 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 two originally identical adjoining houses, the building is a fine substantially intact example of good quality upper middle class investment housing built in the Federation Arts and Crafts 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 the large brick arch with inset Art Nouveau inspired terra cotta decorative elements framing the entrance porch, moulded brick string and cill courses, polychrome brickwork , terra cotta decorative wall tiles, pebble dash stucco and half timbering and timber eaves brackets.

The street front sandstone retaining wall, the relationship of the cottage with its neighbours, the street and the mature ficus hillii street trees are all characteristic of the streetscape of the 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 the Federation Arts and Crafts style.
Integrity/Intactness: The building 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 201416523 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 & Associates1997Prelimiary 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: 2711565


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