By Cathy Jones
Woodward Avenue is named after James Woodward. Woodward was a partner in the retail business, David Jones & Co. Woodward in 1874 purchased Wakeford’s Orangery with Davidson Nichol from William Wakeford. This estate was further subdivided for residential dwellings in 1880. Woodward Avenue was created in the sub-division of the Woodgreen estate in September 1880.
The ‘Woodgreen Estate’ was surveyed by F H Reuss Jnr and created Woodward Avenue, Alviston Rd [now known as Parsons Avenue], Woodgreen Rd [now Torrington Avenue], Nichol Parade and Strathfield Avenue. The ‘Woodgreen Estate’ was marketed by real estate agents Hardie & Gorman for on-site auction on July 31st 1880. The advertisement marketed this estate as:
‘Four minutes walk from Redmyre Railway Station, Nine minutes walk from Burwood Railway Station and Seven Minutes Walk from Homebush Railway Station’.
‘These grand improved suburban properties having an area of over FORTY 40 ACRES with Frontages to The Boulevarde [100 feet wide, made and planted with trees]; Railway Street, Homebush Road, Woodward Avenue, Nichol Parade, Alviston Road, Woodgreen Street, Strathfield Avenue’
‘Situate on the Crown of the Hill, opposite to and near the residences of C E Pilcher Esq, MP; T J Thompson, Esq; Dr P Sydney Jones, Mrs Nichol, H C Fraser Esq and T B Rolin Esq, have been subdivided into LARGE blocks, varying from ¼ to ¾ acre each and will be sold at Auction on the Ground at 3pm sharp Saturday 31st July’
The earliest buildings were built in lots close to The Boulevarde, which were larger in size than those closer to Homebush Road. They were also located closer to Strathfield rail station.
Part of Woodward Avenue is a heritage conservation area, which includes properties on Woodward Avenue, The Boulevarde and Albyn Road. All commenced development in the 1880s and there is a significant presence of Victorian styled property in this area. Albyn Rd, which was formerly known as Railway Street, is lined with brush box street trees. The Boulevarde contains unique double plantings of brush box trees on both sides of the footpath and Woodward Avenue’s street trees are less mature and are crepe myrtle.
Part of Woodward Avenue faces the rear of Torrington Road and the street does not two sides. The unusual road alignment is due to the mansion ‘Torrington’ which occupied the land facing Woodward Avenue.