Wyldefel Gardens streamline moderne apartment

by AF

Apartment 18, Wyldefel Gardens

*Update: The apartment sold for $1,050,000.

Wyldefel Gardens is a streamline moderne art deco complex that cascades down its sloping block in Potts Point.

The complex was built in 1936 by prominent art collector W.A. Crowle and his architect John Brogan.

Crowle had lived in the grand mansion ‘Wyldefel House’ which stood at the top of the block. It was built in 1887 by Walter Hall, and sold to Mr. Crowle in 1923. Wyldefel House was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with what Mrs. Crowle described as an ‘ugly block of units’.

The beautiful art deco apartments were designed in two rows with a communal garden running down the middle of the site so that the mansion would retain its water views. The design, influenced by Crowle’s travels throughout Europe, was considered ultra-modern. The apartments are thought to be the first sold under the strata title system in Australia. One of the first original residents was the Consul-General for Italy.

Crowle had a separate private residence built over the boatshed on the water’s edge which he named ‘Once upon a Time’. This house was built overtop of the boatshed, where he kept his yacht.

The site is significant as it is a remnant of the prestigious waterfront estates built on the Potts Point peninsula in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is just a few houses away from the Bomera and Tarana mansions.

Sadly, the property lost its waterfront address with the construction of the Garden Island land reclamation project by the Navy in the 1940s. Crowle returned from a trip overseas to find out that his townhouse would have to be demolished to make way for the land reclamation. Not wanting to lose his prized possession, he organized for it to be transported brick-by-brick across the Harbour by barge to Kurraba Point in 1941. It still stands today, although it has since been divided into three apartments.

‘Once upon a Time’ in its current location at Kurraba Point. The ground floor, now an apartment, was originally the boatshed.

Wyldefel Gardens was acquired by the Department of the Interior in 1940, but later sold to a private owner in the 1950s.

Apartment 18

Apartment 18 is a 114 sqm 2-bedroom unit. Car parking is available, but must be purchased or leased separately. The auction is scheduled for November 1.

*Update: The apartment sold for $1,050,000.

Wyldefel Gardens is heritage listed. The complex was recently renovated by Gartner Rose.


8A Wylde Street, Potts Point, Sydney

Listing information and apartment images from Realestate.com.au

Wyldefel Gardens, Australian Institute of Architects, April 6, 2010.
35 Kurraba Point, North Sydney Council Heritage Leaflet Series.
NSW Government Environment & Heritage.