Interwar Period c.1915-c.1940
by Cathy Jones
The Strathfield area experienced a significant housing and population boom in the 1920s. Post World War I, influences on Australian architecture were diverse as many Australians travelled overseas or were influenced by the rise of media and communications, notably films and magazines. Post war, many Australians desired stability of home ownership. The dominant residential housing style of this period in Strathfield was adapted California bungalows. This style was heavily influenced by American popular housing through exposure to American culture depicted in movies and magazines of the period. The original prototype was shipped by Richard Stanton from Pasedena Hills near Los Angeles in 1916 and reassembled at the Roseberry Estate in Sydney.
The Australian version of the style incorporated terracotta tiled and/or slate roofing with brick walls. It is typically identified by the use of low slung gabled roofs facing the street. A verandah is usually be found under one of the gables.
This period also featured styles like Old English/Tudor, Georgian Revival, Spanish Mission and “P&O” or Art Deco. While not as common as the bungalow, there are examples of these designs throughout Strathfield Municipality.
The Californian Bungalow became popular in the United States at the turn of 20th Century, especially in the warm climate of California. The emphasis was on open planning, simple roof forms and natural finishes. This style gained great popularity in Sydney in the 1920s until World War II, due to American cultural influences and similarity in climate to California. The Bungalow contained a prominent low pitch gabled and tiled roof. The wide eaves and front porch are distinctive trademarks of the style. Bungalows are generally single storey with informal lawns and gardens.
Interwar bungalows are a common style in Strathfield LGA. After World War I, rapid subdivision of older properties was accompanied by substantial building activity.
The Marion Street Heritage Conservation Area in Strathfield is characterised by bungalow style development. Houses in this conservation area were built over a decade between 1928 and 1938.
As the name suggests, this style is revival of the older British Georgian style. This style often sets a free standing building within a form garden setting. The style is usually symmetrical with plain wall surfaces of fine face brickwork or stucco. Classical elements such as porticos and pediments are used for emphasis.
There are a number of residential examples of this style in Strathfield such as ‘Somerset’ The Boulevarde. This style is particularly associated with the work of architect William Wilson Hardy.
The former Leigh College on Liverpool Road Strathfield South is an example of Georgian Revival style in an institutional building. The College was built in 1928.
Also known as Old English and Stockbroker Tudor. This style is a revival of an Old English style and was popular in Sydney suburbs, such as Strathfield, particularly in 1930s.
Tudor style houses are usually more than one storey in red or clinker red brick, half timbering in gables and upper storey, boldly modelled chimneys and terra cotta tile roofs.
A very popular style in Strathfield in the 1930s in streets such as Wakeford Road, The Boulevarde and South Street. Many houses of this style continued to be built well into the 1950s in Strathfield.
Apperly, R., Irving, R., Reynolds, P., A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, Angus & Robertson, 1995
Fox and Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, Vol. 1 and 2, Strathfield Municipal Council, 1986.
Jones, Cathy., About Strathfield Municipality, 2nd Edition, 2007
Jones, MA, Oasis in the West: Strathfield’s First One Hundred Years, Allen and Unwin, 1985.
Sagazio, C (ed), The National Trust Research Manual, Halstead Press, 2004
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