‘Our House’ on Sunday 21 Oct 2018 was a perfect opportunity to welcome four new members and to see many hidden treasures of contemporary Glebe in the Lyndhurst Estate. About 40 people visited two houses and had an interesting walk between Bellevue St and Darling St to view the exteriors of several terraces. We were able to ‘have a peek’ at the interiors and floor plans of several homes from real estate promotions, to see changes made in the last few years.

There are lots of stories about The Castle at 39 Bellevue St, a sandstone home currently having a major makeover. Some locals say it was a boathouse or gatehouse for Lyndhurst – which don’t quite seem to fit. Others say it was a monks’ retreat from when the Benedictines were at Lyndhurst. If you have any more details we would love to know. The property was used as a frozen foods packing house during the 1940s, providing employment for many local women.

We wandered along Bellevue St and stopped at several terrace houses – some recently renovated and others built on vacant land over the last 4-6 years. One property adjoining a terrace had been used as a factory for brooms and billiard tables – many on the walk were not aware of these previous uses. We also got to glimpse at commercial buildings providing a workplace for many in Glebe today and some great city views.

The rail overbridge on the northern end of Bellevue St (constructed in 1919) also got a mention, as it was the first reinforced concrete bridge built by NSW Government Railways. It was experimental and had a width restriction of 21 feet – this is the reason for the narrowing of the road at this point.

The highlight of the afternoon was the tour of a new contemporary home in Darling St, designed by the award winning architect Jon Jacka. It makes very clever use of a double block, where the outdoor living space has a seamless link to the lounge, kitchen and family room areas. Features include an expansive roof top garden, with dining and living areas opening onto a pool area – it felt like being in private ‘billabong’. The finishes were simple and classic with a great use of space, where ‘the outside melds with the inside’. The group openly appreciated the generosity of the owners in inviting us into their fabulous, modern and inspiring home.

Interior of the contemporary home that featured at ‘Our House’ on 21 October.

The afternoon was also a very sociable occasion. We experienced a wonderful mix of the old and new, with stories being shared about this special part of Glebe – where life and work were often intertwined.