Kailoa | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Kailoa

Item details

Name of item: Kailoa
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Villa
Location: Lat: -33.8413623073 Long: 151.2028865410
Primary address: 44 Union Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060
Parish: Willoughby
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: North Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP910524
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
44 Union StreetNorth SydneyNorth SydneyWilloughbyCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private 

Statement of significance:

Kialoa forms an integral and important part of an area with a rich and varied collection of residential architecture, the adjacent streets being a rare survival of intact 19th century townscape in North Sydney. It is a good example of its type and has retained its garden setting, being a single storey free standing Victorian Italianate villa, (c.1885) set well back from the street on a prominent hill to the rear in landscaped grounds with a fair number of mature trees and well maintained garden setting.

It is of state historic and social signficance for its associational values and representative aesthetic values of this type of place. It is of regional historic, social and associative aesthetic significance as a representative example of its period and type.

The poor condition particularly internally of the house, detracts from its significance, which as a result, is derived largely from its surviving form and massing.(1985)
(Brooks, 1985; Taylor Brammer, 2004 & Adameitis, 2004; abridged by S.Read, 2004)
Date significance updated: 13 Dec 04
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

Construction years: 1885-1886
Physical description: Garden:
Kailoa stands in the grounds of Graythwaite Mansion (Mason, 1987, 4).
(1985) The garden still exhibits its early planning with many original trees surviving. There is a fine cast iron picket fence, on a stone foundation with impressive cast-rion entry gates. A curved entry driveway is planted with pygmy date palms (Phoenix roebellinii). (Brooks, 1985, added to by Read, S., 2004).

House:
The house was built in 1885-6 as a substantial Italianate style villa of white face bricks with a matching addition. It is beleived to be one of only two white brick Victorian houses left in New South Wales (ibid, 1987, 4).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In 1985 the item's condition was basically 'derelict'. " poor condition particularly internally of the house, detracts from its significance the dilapidated condition and extensive reconstruction required, conservation should take place within a framework of adaptation to a compatible use as a means to generate the necessary funding. Several large trees have died The front garden still exhibits its early planning with many original trees survivingThe front fence and gates are in reasonable order ground levels around the rear of the house and heavy undergrowth are exacerbating the problems of rising damp in the adjacent rooms...(Brooks, 1985)
Date condition updated:13 Dec 04
Modifications and dates: 1985 (quoting) several large trees have died. (Brooks, 1985)
1986 adaptively reused and extended for office use

2004 skylight inserted
Further information: The poor condition particularly internally of the house, detracts from its significance, which as a result, is derived largely from its surviving form and massing. Conservation is however desirable to retain its key place in the streetscape and recover its architectural character and detailing. Given the dilapidated condition and extensive reconstruction required, conservation should take place within a framework of adaptation to a compatible use as a means to generate the necessary funding.

Strict reconstruction or reinstatement of original detailing is not necessary and may be impractical given the extent of demolition and possible lack of documentary evidence. Reconstruction shall however be in a form which respects and largely replicates the finishes and decorative elements which could have been expected in a house of this quality in the mid 1880s. Where physical evidence survives, renewed detailing should follow, as closely as practical, the original. New services should be discretely inserted.

External works shall respect the character of the original landscaping, in particular the curving front entry and palm trees. Car parking shall be located at the side of the house, in a way which minimises the visual impact. The front fence and entry gates shall be retained or reused to suit new entry requirements.

The most appropriate and compatible use for Kialoa would be one which retains the essential external formand intenral arrangement of spaces. Such uses could include residential, cutlural or community uses, an art gallery or small scale commercial functions. The overall impact of such uses should minimise changes to the fabric and setting. (Brooks, 1985)
Current use: offices
Former use: Aboriginal land, residence

History

Historical notes: (See separate SHR entry for Graythwaite - for a fuller property history).

Kailoa:
The house was built by Sir Thomas Dibbs in 1885-6 as a substantial Italianate style villa of white face bricks with a matching addition. Dibbs (1832-1923) built it as a wedding present for his son, Tom Burton Dibbs (ibid, 1987, 4).

Thomas Allwright Dibbs was the manager of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. He had been buying up many parcels of land on the North Shore. By 1882 Graythwaite was the family home of Dibbs and in 1888 the mortgage of 1882 was discharged. (Graythwaite adjoins Kailoa - i.e. Kailoa is a section of Graythwaite's former garden / grounds).

Dibbs circa 1875 demolished Walker's house and added to the Sayers sandstone building to complete Euroka/ Graythwaite as it remains today. Dibbs was a huge landowner on the lower North Shore and bought the adjoining Holtermann property when Holtermann died and later sold it to the church for Shore School. Apparently Holtermann closely guarded access to his tower and so many of the early photographic panoramas of Sydney were taken from Graythwaite instead.

Most of the current garden dates from Dibbs circa 1875 (the fig trees can be seen as little trees protected by wooden frames from wandering stock in the 1875 photos). The garden includes a pepper berry/ white walnut (Cryptocarya obovata), a very rare rainforest species, native to northern NSW rainforests and once native to the Illawarra (apparently extinct in that district since the mid 1800s). Only one other specimen of it is known in Sydney, in Prince Alfred Park. Both may owe their presence to associations with colonial botanists James Backhouse and Alan Cunningham (who recorded the species in the Illawarra in c.1811), and then-director of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Charles Moore, who did much to promote the planting of NSW and Qld. rainforest tree species on public sites (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 28/6/2010).

Dibbs' prestige as well as his reputation as an astute and skilful manager of the Bank underlay his renown. His management of the Bank was generally credited with saving it from the fate of other less fortunate banks in the 1890s Depression.

In 1980, the former owners of Kailoa, Shore School, began demolishing the building to make way for new tennis courts. Local residents mounted a 24-hour vigil and later marched to Parliament House to present a petition requesting that the villa be protected. As a result, a conservation order was made to protect the building from further deterioration. To prevent that, residents placed plastic sheeting over parts of the roof which had been removed. No restoration works were undertaken, until the current owners purchased it early in 1986 (ibid, 1987, 4).

In consultation with the Heritage Counciul, Comrealty retained an architect to prepare a conservation policy and plans for the re-use and restoration of the property. Mr Sid Londish, Chairman of Comrealty, said that the high cost of restoration was prohibitive for continued residential use, but under the provisions of the Heritage Act, Comrealty was able to change the use to professional rooms which made the exercise viable. Kialoa is now protected by a permanent conservation order which was supported by the owners. It is currently the offices of an advertising agency (ibid, 1987, 4).

After years of neglect and the threat of demolition, the Victorian villa Kailoa was restored as professional offices. The restoration was carried out by the new owners, Comrealty, under the supervision of architects, Warren Firkin & Associates. At its official opening, Minister for Planning & Environment, Bob Carr said that no public funds had been sought for the project, which cost about $600,000. 'This successful adaptation demonstrates that historic buildings can be conserved by the private sector and put to a viable economic use, without being a burden on limited public funds' he said (Mason, 1987, 4).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Gardens-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Office use-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Developing Commercial Enterprise-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Creating environments evocative of the 'old country'-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and parklands of distinctive styles-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of passive recreation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and gardens of domestic accommodation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of institutions - productive and ornamental-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing local landmarks-
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. Residential-
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. Building settlements, towns and cities-National Theme 4
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. A Picturesque Residential Suburb-
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. Gentlemens Villas-
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. Housing famous families-
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. Gentlemens Mansions-
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. Adapted heritage building or structure-
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. Adapted heritage building or structure-
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. housing (suburbs)-
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. gentlemen's residences-
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. Architectural design-
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. Federation era residence-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Private education-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. apdated villa/ cottage for a school-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Primary education-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. school site-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Educating people in suburban locations-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Secondary education-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Private (independent) schooling-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
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. Landscaping - Victorian period-
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. Landscaping - 20th century interwar-
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. Landscaping - 20th century post WW2-
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. Interior design styles and periods - Victorian-
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. Building in response to climate - verandahs-
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. Architectural styles and periods - Victorian (late)-
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. Landscaping - Federation period-
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. Adaptation of overseas design for local use-
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. Landscaping - late 20th century-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1900-1950-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1950-2000-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1850-1900-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Kitchens and servants-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in a new house-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in, adapting and renovating homes for changing conditions-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in suburbia-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ornamental Garden-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Outdoor relief-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Playing tennis-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting heritage places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Leisure-Includes tourism, resorts.
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of informal community gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Joining together to study and appreciate local history-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Belonging to an historical society or heritage organisation-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Thomas Allwright Dibbs, CBC Bank Manager, landowner, philanthropist-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Tom Burton Dibbs, gentleman-

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage RegisterKailoa0017902 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - formerKailoa0017909 Jan 87 6 
Local Environmental PlanKailoa198903 Nov 89 1079271
National Trust of Australia register Kailoa (part of Union Street precinct group)8627   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenGraham Brooks & Associates P/L1985Statement of Conservation Policy - Kialoa 44 Union Street North Sydney
WrittenJohn Adameitis P/L Architect2004Statement of Environmental Effects - proposed landscaping and external works to Kialoa, 44 Union St., McMahon's Point
WrittenMason, Ron1987Private funds restore Victorian villa
WrittenTaylor Brammer Landscape Architects P/L2004Kialoa 44 Union St., Nth. Sydney - Landscape 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: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045373
File number: S90/05907 & HC 32406


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