Roslyn Gardens is one of the main streets in Elizabeth Bay, home to an eclectic range of architecture, and some truly beautiful homes.
Roslyn Gardens runs from Elizabeth Bay Road, where it intersects with Ithaca Road, to Roslyn Street. It offers a coveted cosmopolitan lifestyle in a beautiful, leafy environment. Just a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Macleay Street, it is tucked away behind Rushcutters Bay Park and all its amenities, including Reg Bartley Oval and tennis courts.
As a street, Roslyn Gardens provides a snapshot in miniature of the whole area, with a variety of architectural eras and property types showing just how diverse, characterful, and eclectic Elizabeth Bay can be.
And you certainly won’t go hungry living in Roslyn Gardens. It’s home to cafes like Shuk, Lot 19, Cafe C&M, and all things delicious.
The iconic 1890s Terraces
If there’s one thing Roslyn Gardens is really known for, it’s the iconic row of terrace homes running from numbers 13-to-25, known as Brent Terrace row.
Backing onto Bradley Lane, which offers rear lane access, each home in this unique row of Victorian Italianate Terrace encompasses four levels and features ornate lace ironwork and a heavily buttressed staircase onto the street.
Like most of the area, Roslyn Gardens was originally part of the 54-acre land grant given to Alexander Macleay on which he built Elizabeth Bay House. Alexander’s brother George offered lots on 99-year leases from the Elizabeth Bay Estate in 1865. Further subdivisions whittled the estate down in 1875 and 1882, and the Brent Terraces were developed in the 1890s and are first listed in the 1897 edition of Sands’ Directory.
One of these terraces is 13A Roslyn Gardens. It offers four bedrooms and a flexible floorplan stretching over its four levels, including a home office space as well as off-street parking for two cars. A host of original features add charm and character to this terrace named “Glengowan” including sandstone, stained glass windows, marble fireplaces and timberwork. Homes of this proportion are scarce in this area, and rarely come up for sale.
From 1920s Apartments to Serviced Studio Apartments
Across the road, at the top of the street occupying number 2 Roslyn Gardens, is a classic 1920s block of 14 units, known as “Chesham”. If there’s one thing that Elizabeth Bay is synonymous with, it’s apartment living, and Chesham perhaps encapsulates the old world glamour as well as any of its neighbours.
According to the State Library of NSW records, the Roslyn Estate, belonging to the property of the same name at the intersection of Elizabeth Bay Road, Holdsworth Avenue and Roslyn Gardens, was offered for subdivision in 1909. It was up for subdivision again in a different layout in 1915. And a third version of the subdivision plan exists from 1919.
Today, you’ll find that much of this land is taken up by 4-14 Roslyn Gardens, a relatively recent block of 42 serviced apartments.
1920s, Art Deco and modernist beauties
Roslyn Gardens is also home to a unique art deco gem. The six-storey Wroxton at number 22, designed in 1936 by Dudley Ward. Ward also designed the Metro Minerva Theatre and the Gowrie Gate apartments at 115 Macleay Street.
Modernist architect Hugo Stossel designed Bayview Apartments in the mid-1960s at number 41-49 Roslyn Gardens. This mid-century complex of 80 pet-friendly apartments with a gorgeous pool remains an exceptionally popular address today.
Another classic 1920s apartment block called “Westerham House” occupies number 62-66 Roslyn Gardens. And Lulworth House Nursing Home occupies number 73, adjoining St Luke’s Private Hospital.
Step back in time to 1936
On 11 March 1936, an advertisement in The Sydney Morning Herald offered what was, back then, “modern flats” for rent at number 81 Roslyn Gardens, on the corner of Roslyn Street.
These apartments contained two bedrooms, a lounge room, a “sleep out balcony”, and a “tiled bathroom”. The modern art deco flats, which still exist today, also featured the latest luxuries such as Frigidaire, a Hot water Service, Incinerators and “every convenience”. Rents were advertised as £2/12/6 to £3 per week. Today, these same flats rent for around $575 per week.
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