Jenner House, Potts Point
Jenner House, Potts Point
The heritage-listed Jenner House (c1871), along with Bomera and Tarana just down the road, is one of the few surviving marine villas in Potts Point.
The site was part of the original 1866 subdivision of the Alexander Macleay 55 acre Elizabeth Bay estate. Lebbeus Hordern, brother of Anthony Hordern, acquired the 99 year lease to the site and commissioned colonial architect Edmund Blacket to design a 2-storey house in the Regency Revival style. The northern wing was originally the servants quarters. The house, called Stramshall, was later transferred to J. T. Neale in 1875.
Mr. Neale enlisted architect Thomas Rowe to add a third storey, designed in the Italianate style, in 1877. The name was changed to Kurragheen and then Lugano. Mr. Neale lived at the residence until his death in 1897, leaving an estate worth 830,000 pounds. Hi wife, Hannah, continued to reside at the house until her death in early 1911. Mr. Nathaniel George Bull was later residing in the residence in 1911 but died in the same year.
In 1914, the residence became the Jenner Private Hospital. A garage int he south-west corner of the site, still existent today, was built for hospital use in the 1920s.
In 1940, the site was acquired by the Commonwealth as part of their resumption of properties in Potts Point to construct the Captain Cook Graving Dock and Garden Island. The house originally had a harbour frontage, but land reclamation and development led to much of the original foreshore garden being destroyed.
The hospital was allowed to stay in the premises under a leasehold arrangement. However, in 1952-1953 the hospital’s lease was terminated, much to the dismay of the hospital’s Matron McMaster. McMaster died not long afterwards and stories from some Navy personnel suggest that her spirit lingered on in the building for several years.
The building continued to be used for naval purposes, including a photographic laboratory and editorial headquarters for the Navy News until 1998 when it was sold to horse breeder Tony Peterson for $2,275,000. Peterson had received approval to convert the house into two dwellings for an estimated cost of $7.755 million, but did not proceed with any work.
In late 2009 it was sold, un-renovated, to racehorse owner and luxury car-dealer Terry Mullens and his wife Wendy for $15 million. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Hells Angels boss Felix Lyle allegedly visited the mansion in the past.
The house in 2009, pre-renovations:
The 5-bedroom house sits on a 1896 sqm block.
Bomera, with enviable views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, sold recently for $12.5 million after two years on the market. It’s original asking price was $25 million. Will the sellers of Jenner House be able to sell at a profit or will they be seeing red?
Listing information and images via Realestate.com.au
NSW Government Environment & Heritage
A new chapter, The Sydney Morning Herald, May 13, 2012.
‘Villa in need of makeover sells for $15 million’ The Sydney Morning Herald, November 30, 2009.
‘Jenner, a history of development’ The Guardian – The Worker’s Weekly, 6 May 2009.