by Ian Stephenson, March 2022, Bulletin 1/2022

Let’s start with some good news. Late last year a revised DA (D/2021/1216) was lodged, and approved, for 3 Avenue Rd. In the 1970s this Edwardian house in one of Glebe’s best streets lost much of its façade detailing. Its highly decorative bay window, rich in garlands and crenelations, was removed and replaced with an aluminium window, as were the two sash windows on the veranda and their associated decorative plaster. In other respects, the façade of the house survived, including the decorative timber veranda plate, the tessellated veranda pavement and the cast iron fence and gates. It was a situation where reinstating the missing details in an erudite way would add great quality to the house and the street.

The sources of evidence about what had gone were unusually rich including photographs from the Bernard Smith Collection of the original façade of the house, the surviving footings of the bay window and the intact detail of the house next door, which was clearly by the same builder, as well as the archaeology of the house itself.

The recreation of missing details on an historic house is rarely as well documented as this. The owner of the property and the City of Sydney Council, especially the Council’s heritage advisor John Poulton, are to be commended for achieving such an excellent result.

Readers will recall that our last Bulletin referred to the approval of two eight-storey apartment buildings in the St Phillips estate. The Society has contacted the CFMEU requesting that they consider imposing an interim Green Ban on the Cowper St demolition.1 Brian Fuller, the Heritage Convenor, and I met with our local member Jamie Parker in December expressing our concern about spot rezoning in the St Phillips estate and asking that the current NSW Heritage Act Review strengthen conservation zones.

We have objected to the demolition of a warehouse in 7 Franklyn St for affordable housing2 requesting that it be retained and adapted in accordance with the Mountain St 2012 Development Control Plan which includes the recommendation ‘to maintain the prominent Federation warehouse character of the area by retaining warehouse and building façades and sympathetic adaptive reuse’.

We also lodged an objection with Liquor and Gaming NSW3 to the application for a liquor licence for up to 200 patrons at the Youth Hostel at 252-264 Glebe Point Rd. The site is zoned R1 residential. The Society’s view was that given the proximity of the site to houses and its location in a residential neighbourhood, the current use as tourist and visitor accommodation is a prohibited use for this land, under the City of Sydney 2012 Local Environment Plan. Further, given the availability of licensed premises in Glebe Point Rd, no part of the site should be used as licensed premises.

The Society also made a submission to the NSW Department of Planning on Wentworth Park and the Blackwattle Bay foreshore walk which are considered in the draft Pyrmont Peninsula Masterplan.4

On 24 January I attended Sadie King’s funeral. It was a memorable event which included singing the 23rd psalm, a musical tribute by Col Joy who was a friend of Sadie’s, and the spontaneous singing by mourners of ‘Solidarity Forever’ as the hearse departed. The Society has been pleased to support our federal member Tanya Plibersek in her request to Lord Mayor Clover Moore for a memorial to Sadie in Glebe.5 Janice Challinor’s tribute to Sadie appears later in the Bulletin (p. 16).

Dorothy Davis and Katharine Vernon are to be commended for getting an active program of guided walks in place for 2022. If there is sufficient interest, we will strive to repeat walks which have been booked out. A dedicated page of the Bulletin sets out future walks and explains how to register your interest in a re-run.

All the best for 2022.

Notes: 1.; 2.; 3.; 4.; 5.