By Cathy Jones
‘Glen Luna’ 2-4 Carrington Avenue Strathfield was the home of prominent barrister Dr George Sly, founder of the legal practice Sly & Russell.
The house was built in 1888 by master builder Robert Wall from a design by the architectural firm of Ellis & Slatyer. The architect Charles Slatyer also responsible for the design of ‘Halsbury’, 12-14 Albyn Road Strathfield, another house built for Dr Sly. Two additional extensions reportedly occurs to the rear of the building in 1900. The house contained landscaped gardens, a small orchard and a tennis court.
‘Glen Luna’ originally faced The Boulevarde, however with subdivision of its grounds facing The Boulevarde, the orientation of the house changed to facing Carrington Avenue. The photo below published in 1907 shows the original house design and the house fronting The Boulevarde.
George Sly (1864-1934) was one of the three sons of Joseph Sly, famous colonial cabinetmaker. The three sons – George, Richard Meares Sly and Dr Joseph David Sly (1844-1934) – were all educated in law and graduated from University of Sydney. Richard Meares Sly was a judge and resident of Strathfield and Burwood and Dr J. David Sly, headmaster and solicitor, who established the ill-fated Eton College in Redmyre Rd Strathfield from 1888-1892.
Dr George Sly was one of Sydney’s most prominent solictors and practiced for over 60 years until his retirement in 1928. In 1868, George Sly founded the legal firm of Sly and Russell, which is now the Sydney office of the law firm Deacons. This is one of Sydney’s oldest and largest law firms.
One of Sly’s chief interests was promotion of Freemasonary. He was a member of Lodge Harmony and at one stage was Deputy Grand Master for New South Wales. At the time of his death, he was a member of the committee of the Masonic schools and of the Grand Lodge of New South Wales.
Sly was a member of the Church of England and took a keen interest in the local Church.
Sly maintained a country residence at Bowral, NSW. After his retirement, he moved to Darling Point where he died in 1934. He was cremated at Rookwood Cemetery.
The house was built by master builder Robert Wall, founder of the firm of Robert Wall and Sons, Ltd. This house was Wall’s first building. He later rose to prominence as the builder of Dalgety’s wool stores at Miller’s Point (Sydney), and Brisbane; the Co-operative Wool Store at Pyrmont; the Savings Bank of New South Wales in Martin-place; Usher’s Hotel, the McDonald Building, Hunter and Castlereagh streets; Blaski Building, Hunter and Elizabeth streets, and Dalton Building, Pitt-street. Wall also constructed Culwulla Chambers, in King-street, Sydney’s first “sky-scraper.”
Sly lived at ‘Glen Luna’ until 1924 when the house was sold. The new owners subdivided the grounds and the house lost its Boulevarde frontage. In 1927, the house was subdivided into apartments. By 1984 the house was neglected and decaying and the owners intended to demolish the property. This was prevented by a preservation order being issued by the Heritage Council of NSW. In 1985, the property was substantially renovated and strata titled into units.
Advertising (1888, January 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 14. Retrieved August 2, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13667786
TYPICAL HOMES OF NEW SOUTH WALES. (1907, March 10). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1930), p. 4 (The Sunday Times Magazine Section.). Retrieved August 2, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126277020
DEATH OF DR. G. J. SLY. (1934, May 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved August 2, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17054966
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
“DEATH OF MR. ROBERT WALL.” The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954) 21 Jun 1927: 12. Web. 5 Aug 2011.
Department of the Valuer General NSW – Valuation List – Valuation District of Strathfield
Strathfield Walk notes, 1992, Strathfield District Historical Society, no author identified.
Sands Sydney & Suburban Directory
Strathfield Council Building Register
Strathfield Council Valuation Lists
Wise’s Post Office Directory of Strathfield, Strathfield and Homebush 1904, 1908 and 1936.