Friday, 16 November 2012

Chevy Chase Petersham Residence

Before there was Chevy Chase the actor, there was Chevy Chase the residence....

The house was built c. 1881 for Nicholas Hopson (who purchased the land in 1879 from J.L. Castner). Hopson named his house Chevy Chase. 

Originally the home had a carriage drive and circular planting bed. This can be seen in the aerial photograph (the red outline being the current property boundary).

The 1884 Sands Directory listed Nicholas Hopson, milliner as having business premises at 490 George Street, Sydney, with a private residence Chevy Chase at The Boulevarde, Petersham. 

Hopson lived at Chevy Chase till 1917, when the house’s occupier in Sand’s Directory is shown as Mrs Sarah Cox, a nurse and private hospital proprietor. This indicates conversion of the house to a hospital during World War I, presumably undergoing alterations. 

Hopson retained ownership till 1925, when the property was sold to Ellen Wynn-Martyn who sold part of the land fronting The Boulevarde. 

The house is an example of when heritage integrity has been lost and can no longer be recovered.

Chevy Investments bought the house in 1964, and converted the house into 12 flats, completely altering the northern façade by the addition of new rooms.

In the Marrickville Review of Potential Heritage Items, Volume 1: Final Report, June 2009 the following are given as reasons for excluding it from the Heritage register:
While originally the building was a grand Victorian Italianate style villa with a tower, built by local businessman Nicholas Hopson, due to conversion to a hospital in 1917 and later to residential apartments, the building now lacks integrity.

Approximately 40% of the original facades of the building remain exposed and unencumbered by later additions. The original appearance and form of every façade has been severely disturbed by the additions. The exposed parts of the original facades retain a good proportion of original detail, and some original detail can be reconstructed. However, the obscured parts of the facades have been severely modified and are incapable of reconstruction. Thus, even if all of the additions to the original house were removed, it would not be possible to return the house to its original form.

Friday, 9 November 2012

I Love Marrickville Jelly - Aeroplane Jelly for Me

Aeroplane Jelly and it's famous jingle have strong ties to the Marrickville area.

The 'Aeroplane Jelly Song’ was composed in 1930 by wholesale grocer and wines-and-spirits merchant, Albert Francis Lenertz, better known locally as 'Frank Leonard of Marrickville’(he resided at 284 Victoria Road Marrickville). Lenertz was a co-partner with Adolphus ‘Bert’ Appleroth in the firm Aeroplane Jelly.

According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography Frank was a managing director of the company, which was originally in Sussex Street in the City, but moved to Alice Street Newtown in 1927. Traders Ltd grocery manufacturers first appears in the Sands Directory in Alice Street in 1930, on the north side, between numbers 41 & 49.

Originally, the Aeroplane Jelly song was a tribute to Prime Minister Billy Hughes, with lines such as "Folk in the city and folk on the plain, Billy's great deeds for our land can acclaim". He rewrote the lyrics and it became a popular advertisement around 1930. (The jingle was added to the National Film & Sound Archive’s ‘Sounds of Australia’ in 2008).

Lenertz, Albert Francis, 1891-1943.
The Aeroplane jelly song words and music

The jingle was first recorded by Amy Rochelle, a music hall entertainer who did child imitations.This version of the song was used from 1930 to 1938.

But the best known recording is the 1938 version sung by seven-year-old Joy King (later Joy Wigglesworth). She was chosen after a state-wide competition in New South Wales (the only state marketing the jelly crystals at this time). Her recording was used for more than fifty years.

The song was eventually broadcast one hundred times each day as it was the signature tune on the radio programs Lenertz produced and announced for Sydney stations 2KY & 2SM.

Frank wrote a song about Newtown - Newtown is an Old Town That I Love, the score is available at , the lyrics include lines such as "I've roamed about it's streets & lanes, I've heard both laughs & sighs, I've gazed on many scenes that bought the tears into my eyes" and "where pals know how to play the game, and sweethearts all love true"

Australian Screen
 Sydney Archives

Friday, 2 November 2012

Marrickville Post Office Placed on Commonweath Heritage List

1899. Watercolour (detail). Marrickville Road. Marrickville Post Office (far right); Picture: Gasp Blog

The original Marrickville Post Office building will be placed on the Commonwealth Heritage List in recognition of its significant heritage value.

Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese, welcomed the announcement saying it would mean increased protection for the building which is today home to the Marrickville Post Cafe.

“The original Marrickville Post Office was designed by architect James Barnett and when it opened in 1891, it combined a post office, telegraph office and residence in the one building,” Mr Albanese said.

“It was constructed by Messrs Graham & Mercer for 2,197 pounds.

“Putting aside its physical grandeur, the building represents the establishment of the precinct as the main business district of Marrickville following the construction of the tramline along Marrickville Road in 1881.

“At the time, the Marrickville Post Office would have been the most prominent and substantial building in town and the site of important meetings.

 TITLE: Marrickville post office [view of front of building from across street] 
CATEGORY: photograph FORMAT: b&w negative 
TYPE: cellulose acetate STATUS: preservation material 

“Today, the building is home to the Marrickville Post Cafe and it continues to be a lively meeting place for our local community while retaining much of its original character including the wooden floors, high ceilings and gorgeous arched windows.

“I am delighted that Marrickville Post Office is now listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List.

“This announcement is significant because it provides heritage protection into the future for this significant community icon.”

In total, 15 post offices from around Australia have been added to the Commonwealth Heritage List.

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