by Ian Stephenson, March 2022, from Bulletin 1/2022

One on of the brilliant things about the project by the Federal Government, and later the NSW Government, to restore the former church estates was that they went to a lot of trouble to get the details right.

Clive Lucas, Australia’s pre-eminent conservation architect was commissioned to document details such as fencing, colour schemes, bargeboards and attics. In a way that had never been done before in Australia, whole streets were restored with the correct fences and colour schemes for the period of the house. Remnant fences were restored and missing ones were recreated based on evidence.

In 1989 Ian Evans, sometime Glebe resident and President of the Save Lyndhurst Committee in the 1970s, wrote an influential book called Getting the Details Right: Restoring Australian Houses 1890s-1920s. It was published by the NSW Department of Planning.

Sadly, the NSW Land and Housing Corporation which looks after the former church estates seems to have lost its memory and its skills as is shown in the images below.

There is a great body of information about how to manage the heritage of the Glebe estate. The Land and Housing Corporation is an arm of government. There is no excuse for mistakes like this. It is just ignorance and incompetence. LAHC it’s time to lift your game.

Nos 76 and 78 Cowper St were built in the 1920s. They are shown here with their original gates and fences. The row of 1870s terrace houses next door have picket fences. The white terrace is No 80 Cowper St (image: Google Maps)
The Land and Housing Corporation have recently renewed the fences at number 76 and 78, discarding some of the original gates and copying the fences of the 1870s terrace houses (photo: Google Maps)
An example of one of the 1920s gates that has been removed (photo: Ian Stephenson)