By Lyn Collingwood, Bulletin 3/2024, May 

Where are we, and what’s going on?

Please send your suggestions to history@glebesociety.org.au with ‘mystery photo’ in the subject line.

How did you go with last month’s mystery photo

And the answer is….

Durham Court in its ‘original splendour’. Photograph taken after 1922 (Source: NBRS & Partners ‘Statement of Heritage Impact, December 2014)

Angela Hallinan and Wayne Carveth identified the site as 417 Glebe Point Road. 

Wayne checked it out. Through a gap in the locked gates on the main road, he glimpsed the brick fence posts and a window of Durham Court, the original building.  Another clue was the immobilised crane.

Angela commented: ‘A never ending building story which has been going on since 2016 according to the surveyor for the latest company to have taken over the project’.

Over more than a decade, a number of DAs for this site were submitted to Council. The first was lodged just before Christmas 2007.  Durham Court was to be restored to ‘its original splendour’ with an added storey to create three apartments and nine townhouses. Also proposed was basement parking for 20 vehicles.  An amended DA the next year increased the basement parking to 27 vehicles.

Three DAs were lodged in 2012. The first was to demolish  the rear wing of the house and replace it with three storeys plus attic, increasing the number of dwellings to 39 (36 of them ‘affordable’). The second DA reduced the dwellings to 38, half for ‘affordable rental housing’.  The third DA took a different tack: student accommodation (affordable rental housing/boarding house development) with 54 rooms, bicycle parking and a Go Get car space.

Durham Court, 417 Glebe Point Road, at the time the first DA was lodged. (Photo: realestate.com.au)

Things went quiet until 2014 when excavation for an underground carpark was again proposed. The house  was to be converted to two townhouses and the flats to eight three-storey townhouses. 

D/2018/1121 was approved, for six three-storey terraces at the rear, the conversion of Durham Court  to two ‘attached dwellings’ plus excavation for a 12-vehicle basement. In November 2020, locals were advised that work was about to commence.  A crane was installed, sheds and trees removed, and sandstone excavated for the underground carpark.  Hoardings around the perimeter hid the work from public view.

After scaffolding had gone up and some building had commenced at the rear of the site, work stopped. A modified DA (D/2018/1121/A) was lodged in December 2021 and approved. This allowed for the demolition and reconstruction of the Durham Court façade. Activity recommenced but has again ceased. 

Articles on our website from Bulletins 1/2008 and 2/2008 contain information about the history of Durham Court, which was built in 1910. Read about Durham Court’s  original owner,  Florence Jacobs. Website posts addressing the DAs and their amendments include the Society’s objections to the 2012 DA and posts in March 2014, March 2015 and September 2015 outlining the Society’s objections to the DA’s amendments.