Houses by Street – Chapman Ave

Chapman Avenue

The trees in Chapman Avenue, west of the intersecting Devlins Creek, have a heritage classification, and make it one of the prettiest streetscapes in this part of Beecroft. Chapman Avenue was originally called Malton Street – as distinct from Malton Road that ran east from the railway line. To avoid confusion Malton Street changed its name to Chapman Avenue to commemorate Frank Chapman a long standing councillor on Hornsby Shire Council. His home was in Hannah Street.

20, Woodside was the home of George Pettit from at least 1915. Mr Pettit was active in the Beecroft Methodist (now Uniting) Church from at least 1896. He undertook a range of roles but was consistently involved with the Choir throughout that time. In 1939 this home was acquired by the church and served as its parsonage until 1970.

24, Gospel Hall. This is the second meeting place in Beecroft for The Brethren with the first being a timber Gospel Hall seating 150 people, built in 1913 of Chapman Avenue between Beecroft Road and Wongala Crescent. In the early 2000s another Gospel Hall was opened following the purchase of the former St Peter’s Anglican Church in Murray Farm Road, Beecroft.

29,   has curved glass windows which are a feature of what is called the waterfall style of an interwar period home. Typically the house will emphasise the horizontal line but broken with curves. The placement of the garage under the house rather than in a separate building distant from the home is also a feature of this era and shows the growing importance of the car.

37, Abercarne formerly Ellamatta, is a good example of a red brick bungalow built in 1929 for T H Hampton and then subsequently sold to a relative so that this house has been in the one family since it was built. Others of this period are built of different materials and styles, but all originally had generous gardens and trees, aspects always noted as virtues of the suburb – even though now much less common. The front fence of contains a tiled seat and the inscription ‘Nancy’s seat, March 1997.’ Mrs Nancy Smith was a war widow whose husband, Thomas Anthony (Tony) Smith, died on 19 January 1942 resisting the Japanese invasion of Malaya, and whose name is on the Beecroft War memorial. Nancy lived in Copeland Road prior to becoming a resident with Twilight Homes in what was Sheen. During her walks along Chapman Avenue she often stopped to rest on the rise of the hill, outside 37. In a delightful community gesture, the householders provided this seat for her and others to use. She was invited to dedicate it and an afternoon tea in her honour followed the ceremony. A photograph of Mrs Smith can be found in R Ringer An Australian Story: Twilight House 1915-2015 (Twilight House, Sydney, 2017) p vii.

45,       to be noted in this 1950s house are reflected elements of the design features of Sheen – in the upstairs verandah and the arch over the front door.

 46,    was designed by Robert Green, architect, in the International or Modernist style of architect in 1960. Harry Seidler described this style of architecture as one that ‘tends to emphasise rectilinear shapes and horizontal lines. The structure used to support a building is no longer hidden. At times raised on stilts, these box like homes almost look suspended in mid-air. Design features include flat roofs, spiral staircases and wall to wall and floor to ceiling glass.’  

67       was purchased as vacant land in 1957 by Lorna Cuthbertson, a social worker, and her mother Gertrude Muriel Cuthbertson. Gertrude Bryan had married Phillip Cuthbertson in Burrowa in 1916. He was discharged from the 15th Battalion in 1918 as medically unfit and he died in 1919.

Miss Cuthbertson commissioned Sydney Archer to design a house. Sydney Archer is now recognised as a leader in the Sydney school of architecture. They were on the electoral roll of 1963 as living at this address. Gertrude died in 1975. Lorna sold the house in 1981 and it is presumed that the house was demolished by the next owners.