Spanish mission in Elizabeth Bay

by AF

Apartment 2, Del Rio, Elizabeth Bay

Del Rio was the first of the Spanish Mission-style flats to be built in Elizabeth Bay. It is a waterfront building designed by J. Spencer Stansfield and built in 1928, and is reminiscent of Craigston (c1928) in Brisbane.

There are just five (or possibly six, sources vary) apartments in the building, so the waterfront gardens, jetty and mosaic-tiled pool are only used by an exclusive few. Each apartment occupies the whole floor, and many, if not all, have fireplaces. Apartments are on a company title, not strata title, which was fairly normal for that era.

Although the building does not appear to be heritage listed, it is listed on the Royal Australian Institute of Architect’s Register of 20th Century Buildings of Significance. It is also in good company, with the late Victorian residence ‘Romona’ (aka Edgerley, aaka Haughly) dating from 1884 on one side, and the famed historic home ‘Boomerang‘ just down the road.

John McGrath, CEO of McGrath Real Estate and judge on TV series ‘The Block’, has included Del Rio in his top 10 Sydney apartment buildings.

Apartment 2 has had a contemporary renovation with herringbone parquet floors and a sleek, neutral colour palette. There are 3 bedrooms and a carpark, but no indication of the apartment size. The building itself is on a 1,479 sqm block.

The listing agent is seeking offers by expressions of interest, and it is expected to sell for over $4 million. The current seller paid $3.55 million for the art-deco pad in 2009.

*Update: The property has sold.


22-24 Billyard Avenue, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney

Listing information and images via

“The $10 million view”, September 15, 2012.
RAIA Register, September 4, 2006.