Property Details

Property ID: 47


Address and Location
Street Address:
9 The Avenue (View Details)
Suburb/Postcode: Ashfield  2131
City: Sydney
State: NSW
Country: Australia

Council/LGA and Zoning
Council/LGA: Ashfield
2(a) (View Details)

Property Details
Category: House
Built: c. 1900 ~ 1901
Thomas Irvine
Architectual Type: Federation
Demolished: No 

No Protections Assigned

An attractive and imposing two-story Queen Anne residence built on an elevated, narrower allotment of land. The house features a hipped roof with red terracotta tiles, chimneys and two prominent projecting gabled bays, with the smaller of the two projecting at an angle. The gables feature decorated bargeboards and finials.

The house features numerous well-sized double-hung windows with stucco ledges and a decorative two-story verandah with carved timber posts, fretwork brackets and balcony with timber balustrading. A set of steps with marble treads and rises leads up to the verandah with white marble edging and an attractively panelled and detailed front entrance door with leadlight. The base of the house features sandstone.

While numerous other examples of this particular Queen Anne style can be found in a number of cottages that remain in the Ashfield and Summer Hill area, very few (if any) other examples exist in the two-story variant. As such, the architecture of this house is rare, especially in context of the suburbs within the Ashfield Municipality. Despite it's conversion into apartments/rental flats, much of the original character is well intact. This house is the lone survivor on the eastern side of The Avenue, which exclusively featured homes in the early Federation/Queen style. It is also the only two-story house ever to be built on the eastern side of this street. The house is also only one of about 3 of the original properties that remain in the street that survived the mass demolitions that occurred during the late 1960's and early 1970's for the development of the typically seen three-story apartment buildings not only in this street, but also throughout most of the suburb as well.

Historical Notes
Early History

'Kelvin Grove' was built in 1900 as the residence of Thomas Irvine [1856-1938], a builder.[1] The allotment of land on which this house stands was originally part of a large parcel of land belonging to a cottage residence situated fronting the eastern side of The Avenue. In 1898, ads were found listing this property for sale, being the estate of the late H. Penny, Esq. The cottage was described as a "Cottage, of Weatherboard, on wood and stone piers, iron roof, wide verandah front, side and rear, containing 7 rooms..". It's land had a frontage of 396ft to the Avenue, bounded by the railway line and a depth of 154ft. The cottage essentially occupied the entire block of land on the eastern side of the street and the total area of land was over 1 acre & 1 rood in size. The property was first auctioned on March 11, 1898[2] and then again on July 22, 1898[3] before being sold. The purchaser demolished the cottage likely by the end of the year and subdivided it's grounds into 7 residential allotments with frontages ranging from 50ft to 59ft 6in and depths of 154ft.[4] These allotments were auctioned off on April 15, 1899 and would pave the way for the construction of numerous early Federation/Queen Anne residences along the eastern side of the street. Thomas Irvine purchased one of these allotments for the construction of his new home.

Construction and Ownership by Thomas Irvine

'Kelvin Grove' was built for most part during the second half of 1900 to early 1901. The house first appeared in the 1901 Sydney Sands Directory and a tender was found in the November 26, 1900 issue of the Sydney Morning Herald "TENDERS wanted for Carpentering and Joinery. Thos. Irvine, The Avenue, off Thomas-st., Ashfield",[5] suggesting that Irvine, a builder by trade, was responsible for the construction of his new home. Tenders were also found at around the same time for the construction of the cottages formerly located at No's 1, 3, 5 and 7 The Avenue, which were for most part built for investment purposes to be leased or sold. All 4 cottages along with 'Kelvin Grove' were completed by/during 1901. The cottages have since been demolished.

Thomas Irvine resided at 'Kelvin Grove' with his wife Jane Irvine (nee Ballantyne) whom he married on July 22, 1879 in Linwood, Scotland.[6] Given their Scottish heritage, it's likely they named the house after Kelvingrove park, which is a public park located on the River Kelvin in the west end of the city of Glasgow, Scotland.[7] While in occupation of the residence, one of their daughters, Fanny Irvine was married on March 13, 1909 at the Ashfield Presbyterian Church. Following the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Irvine hosted their daughter's wedding reception at their residence 'Kevin Grove', where a large number of guests were entertained.[8] Mr. and Mrs. Irvine's only son, William Armour Irvine, would also be married on June 19, 1915.[9]

Sometime in the later 1920's, Thomas Irvine and his wife sold 'Kelvin Grove' and moved to reside at Mosman. In February 1923[10] their daughter Mrs. Annie Moncrieff, wife of John Moncrieff (married 1894]),[11] passed away and likely soon after her death the property was sold. By 1929, Thomas Irvine and his wife were residing at 8 Mistral Avenue, Mosman.[12]

  1. (Apr 9, 1938). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  2. (Mar 2, 1898). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  3. (July 20, 1898). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  4. (Apr 1, 1899). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  5. (Nov 26, 1900). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  6. (July 23, 1904). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  7. (Apr 10, 1909). "SOCIAL". Sydney Morning Herald
  8. (July 24, 1915). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  9. (Feb 26, 1923). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  10. (Dec 27, 1919). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  11. (July 22, 1929). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald

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Copyright © 2012 Mark Babij