There is a renowned heritage street in Bexley that holds many a fine residence… Victorian, Federation, Bungalow, Art Deco… a walk down Dunmore Street North is like stepping back in time. Bookended by classic main street shopfronts and churches up on Forest Road, down to the state heritage listed Seaforth Park at the lower end, the street and suburb it occupies are home to many splendid gardens as well, some immaculately pruned and tended, and some, let’s just say, a little rougher around the edges.

Look carefully at the jungle growing on a block at 26 Dunmore Street North. Between the trees and shadows you will find a hidden Federation masterpiece, waiting to be uncovered and have new life breathed back into it, like a dusty Rembrandt sitting unknown at the back of a museum storeroom. This house is ripe for renovation, and in the afternoon light stunning period features still shine and give away a hint of the extravagance waiting to be uncovered and brought back to their timeless beauty by someone with a keen eye for what constitutes smart ‘forward thinking’ real estate value and a worthy investment. Bullseye leadlight windows, turquoise Art Nouveau tiling, patterned brick archways, delicate balcony timber fretwork, this house has all the wonderful features of the period.

Federation homes were exceptional in their level of embellishment, quality of workmanship and attention to detail, as well as giving us our own national style of architecture; those on corner blocks were even more impressive as they were always built to suit the site, facing two directions to greet the outside world and often taking advantage of winter sun flooding through bay windows, while maintaining an air of coolness in summer with deep and richly decorated porches.

That’s the end of my real estate agent spiel; it may not be along the lines the agents are pushing this time, considering the land size of 1,176sqm lends itself to perhaps something of a different scale. As quoted from the Domain website by agents Raine and Horne:

“Property Features:

*Original 4 bedroom federation full brick home in need of TLC

*Potential for Developement (STCA)

*Situated on a corner position

*2 Driveways

*Level clear block of land

*Approx 23.4 metre frontage X Approx 50.2 length

*Family orientated area, with excellent schools, transportation, and ease of access to Bexley shopping village.

Will be sold at Auction!!”

A few years ago a corner parcel came up for sale with a similar unloved Federation home at the bottom of the street. What happened next was a little strange. Residents at the time were concerned for the streetscape and lobbied for the new owners to retain the house. It didn’t stand for long, and was levelled and replaced by a large gaudy modern home ‘in the Federation style’, complete with sandstone foundations and stained glass. Why anyone would demolish a Federation house to build a Faux-Federation I don’t know but the trend has spread next door to where an almost identical building has sprung up.

Don’t let the developers get this one. The street is too picturesque and historically revealing to be ruined by duplexes. Any astute heritage buyers, this is the one for you. For sale by auction, Saturday 1st June. Be quick…

Click on images below to enlarge gallery…

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  1. Dorothy says :

    Looks like it has been owned by a ‘hoarder’. Do you know what happened at the auction yesterday? Unfortunately, being on such a good sized block of ground and on a corner – I can see it being knocked down and redeveloped. Don’t suppose it’s listed as a local heritage item is it?

  2. inheritanceorg says :

    No I don’t believe it’s listed as heritage… however I believe Dunmore Street may be a conservation zone, I am chasing this up with local councillors. I am also attending a ratepayers meeting tomorrow night where mayor and councillors will be present, I will try and investigate further. My photos don’t do this house justice, it was a rainy windy day and the house is nearly camouflaged in the bush, would be a shame to see it go.

    • inheritanceorg says :

      I was quite gobsmacked to hear that this house sold for the princely sum of $1,446,000. In light of that I would have to surmise that knock-down,rezone would be on the plans. Being in the street it is in, I would advise any residents to keep mindful of the situation and future DA plans. If they don’t suit the surrounding streetscape then you have a right to object. However this will all change after the white paper is passed and next door neighbours won’t even know about it until the safety fences go up.
      Furthermore, this could be just one example of a developer speculating on the white paper being passed thereby making subdivision and redevelopment much easier on a site such as this, eliminating the previous need for resident submissions to be heard and judged fairly. So be prepared for it.

      This was my reply from council:
      In response to your enquiry relating to the above property, it is advised that Council does not have heritage conservation areas. Further, the property is not listed as a heritage item, but is identified as being in the vicinity of other heritage items.

      Any development application lodged to either demolish the building or undertake alterations and additions to the building would consider what impact such has on the nearby heritage items, with specific matters for consideration included in both Rockdale Local Environmental Plan 2011 and Rockdale Development Control Plan 2011, but there is no specific requirement to retain the building.

  3. Tess Lynch says :

    I have loved this old home since the 1960’s. It was always messy in the backyard even back then. As a kid I’d peep through the broken fence palings as we walked by. Always admired the stained glass windows. I think I suggested it for heritage listing with Rockdale council…maybe in the 1990’s.

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