Born:    Died:

Ferdinand Reuss (pronounced Royce) was the British-born son of a Royal Prussian Consul. Reuss trained as a civil engineer in the firm of Robert Stevenson, the great lighthouse engineer and grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson. Reuss migrated to Australia in 1851 and was active as an architect and builder in Sydney during the 1870s and 1880s. He is also regarded as the father of surveying in Sydney.

Glebe connections

Ferdinand Reuss was a Glebe resident for 30 years. During the 1880s, Reuss was in partnership with Edward Halloran, the architect of Record Reign Hall (St Johns Road).

Reussdale is named after its architect, Ferdinand Reuss
Reussdale is named after its architect, Ferdinand Reuss

Reuss bought land and created a delightful cluster of grand villas in Bridge Road, including :

  • Reussdale (c1868) – Smith regards this Picturesque Gothic two-storey sandstone and brick residence as possibly the earliest example of High Victorian domestic design in Glebe. The house served as the church manse for many years but became derelict in the last decades of the 20thC. The house was recently restored and is now in private hands.
  • The Hermitage (c1866) – This two-storey residence has a semi-hexagonal bow rising through two storeys. This served as Reuss’ own residence until his death. Reuss and his descendants occupied the house for over 90 years.

Ferdinand Reuss won a design competition to lay out the model suburb of Annandale. His design was based on a grid pattern and very wide streets.

More information

Glebe Walks – Early Glebe Architects – Reussdale and Ferdinand Reuss.

Bernard and Kate Smith, The Architectural Character of Glebe, SUP, 1989

Freda MacDonnell, The Glebe: Portraits and places, Ure Smith, Sydney, 1975

Posted on April 6, 2013 by Peter

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  1. Comment by Margaret Britton on November 28, 2011 at 10:30 am:

    I am researching the connection of Ferdinand Reuss to Robert Stephenson, Engineers, Scotland. I noticed on your website that you mentioned that he trained as a civil engineer in that firm. Do you have any documentary evidence that this is the case?

    Margaret Britton