The numbered streets in Ashbury are unique in the Inner West of Sydney and as such are worthy of being classified from January 2013 as a Heritage Conservation Area, ‘due to its high proportion of buildings which had been preserved and retained the character of their era’. First Street was part of the first subdivision of the Wattle Hill Estate 'Hurlstone Park' in 1915. The lots had 'city water and electric lights' and the subdivision created a precinct that is remarkable. The first lots in First Street were put up for auction in February 1915 at the start of World War One. Only about half were sold and the other half went up for auction in 1916.
By 1916, the advertising became more nationalistic and included not only the wattle but the rising sun that was a significant part of Australian identity after Federation.
Some of the houses in First Street have been irreversibly modified but many have retained the architecture and the feel of the late Federation years and the arrival of the Californian Bungalow. And, mercifully, many have retained their leadlight from the late Federation years to the 1920’s and the arrival of Californian Bungalow; the ubiquitous dwelling in Ashbury.
Leadlight apparent at No’s 3, 4, 5, 15, 24, 26, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 43, 45, 49, 52, 54, 55, 56, 60, 61, 63 & 66
Main Period: Federation - Interwar
By 1916, in the middle of World War 1, the advertising for the Wattle Hill Estate had become far more emblematic of the post Federation era. Canterbury might have been close but Hurlstone Park...?
First and Second Street were part of the first subdivision of the Wattle Hill Estate Hurlstone Park in 1915. The advertising focuses on the access to transport and the quality of the soil for gardening.
No 3 is an early Californian Bungalow probably built in the early 1920’s with leadlight in three three panel casement windows. They all have the same design in each panel and while the security bars obscure some of the design it is quite striking. Each of the panels has a large bevelled glass diamond set in a cluster of glass that creates a very dominant star. The same motif is displayed in a small window.