A 100 year old two-story Federation house in Burwood is under imminent threat of demolition following the lodging of a DA to build eight townhouses on the 1853sqm estate. The six bedroom property known as Kenilworth is located at 18 Wyatt Avenue and was purchased in April 2012 for $2,950,000. The new owner then lodged a DA in October 2013.
Period features include high ornate ceilings and solid hardwood floors. The house does appear to have been substantially renovated over the years.
Kenilworth was once owned by Edward ‘Red Ted’ Theodore, who led an illustrious career as a Union leader, Queensland Premier and Federal Treasurer under the Scullin Labor government during the Great Depression. He later made his fortune as a private business partner of Sir Frank Packer setting up gold mines in Fiji and as Chairman of Directors within Packer’s ACP. Theodore has been described as a radical thinker of his time and both a township in Queensland and a suburb in Canberra named after him.
The house backs on to the heritage listed Appian Way, and forms part of the fabric of the heritage-rich Burwood area. The situation has been compared to that of Tilba, a 1900 Edwardian mansion that was demolished in 2013 in front of protesting local residents. This new case is viewed as a further test of just how determined council are to protect the significant heritage assets of Burwood that happen to fall just outside what appear to be inadequate conservation zones.
Apparently the council’s heritage architect has already approved demolition of the property as the house is not listed on Burwood’s local heritage register. According to an article by Shireen Khalil in the Inner West Courier entitled ‘Historic Kenilworth in Burwood could be demolished under new proposal’ (February 15 2014), their register has not been updated for about 30 years. The council is currently assessing the DA. We will continue to follow this story.
MHM have not had the opportunity to visit this property.