Atlassian’s Scott Farquhar buys Fairfax mansion Elaine: reports

30 April 2017 . Tags: , , , , ,

The sale and pending demolishing of the Sirius Building is controversial.  Brutalist architecture is not well understood, although I must add that this particular building is well-regarded internationally (particularly in countries where they are already striving to protect their brutalist designs). A lot of people may be happy to see it gone, but heritage significance is not all about a building’s aesthetic appeal. There are other factors to consider such as social and historic significance.  When the government decides to sell heritage properties, ignoring recommendations from their own advisors that the buildings should be state protected, simply because they are worth too much money, the community needs to step up. 

For this reason, we are very excited that Atlassian co-CEO Scott Farquhar and his wife have contracted to buy Elaine, the Fairfax family harbourside estate in Sydney’s East.

The 6900sq m mansion includes seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a tennis court, manicured lawns leading down to the harbour and incredible Sydney Harbour views.  It was built in 1863 and has been owned by the Fairfax family for 126 years.  While the building itself is heritage listed, its curtilage, surrounding land, could have been carved up.  With 2B zoning, technically there was potential for developers to purchase the property, sell the house and built flat on the surrounding land. 

It is easy to argue that if we had the money we would think of buying it too. The fact is this family do have the money and have chosen to spend it to save the house and we are thrilled. We trust they will show the property the care and respect our few remaining estates deserve.  Once they are gone we can never get them back.  Click here to read more about the sale in the Weekend Australian. 

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