By Katharine Vernon, March 2022, from Bulletin 1/2022

The Glebe Society’s 2022 program of Guided Walks kicked off on 6 February with a walk led by our President, Ian Stephenson. This walk, titled The Good the Bad and the Ugly: a hundred years of infill housing in Glebe took us on a stroll through the Lyndhurst, St Phillips and Bishopthorpe Estates.

It was surprising to find so many dwellings built in the 20th and early-21st century in these three historic estates. Some were built on areas that had previously been cleared to make way for the proposed freeways of the 1970s that thankfully never materialised; while others were constructed to increase the availability of housing in Glebe.

The most impressive housing designs were those designed by the architects employed by the NSW Housing Commission Urban Renewal Group in the 1980s. Their designs, though modern, were sympathetic in character with the older housing, thus the streetscapes were in keeping with these historic estates. This was in contrast with high-rise construction that took place in the late 1950s and more recent construction work in and around Cowper St and Elgar St.

We visited a 1980s medium-density complex of apartments surrounding an attractive courtyard that will shortly be replaced by a high-rise apartment. Plans for this high-rise building were opposed by the Glebe Society without success. We were reminded of the need for the Glebe Society to remain vigilant.

Our thanks to Ian for a most insightful walk. As there has been a great deal of interest, Ian is repeating this walk.

Ian Stephenson (foreground in photo on left) leading the COVID-safe Glebe Society Walk, The Good the Bad and the Ugly: a hundred years of infill housing (photos: Phil Young)