Freestanding homes in Paddington are certainly unique, as are those with pools, two features that make the c1888 cottage a notable new listing. Even more striking for the Paddington enthusiast is the home’s situation at 4 Cooper Street, a rarely traversed cul-de-sac notable for its hodge-podge collection of apartment blocks, the heritage-listed mansion now known as the Scottish Hospital, the rear access point for the now-desirable Glenmore Road-fronting terraces, and a collection of four freestanding late-19th C Victorian cottages of which today’s subject property is one. Cooper Street began life as the driveway to the c1849 two-storey brick and stone mansion built for a Judge Kinchella. This structure featured prominent terrace gardens that rambled down the ‘Glenmore Hill’ toward Rushcutters Creek, approximately where Neild Avenue now lies. Paddington, which served as a small community of farms and worker’s cottages associated with the nearby Military Barracks began to experience significant infill development beginning in the 1870s and ramping up during the 1880s, at which time 4 Cooper Street was constructed.
An 1854 map revealing the location of the Kinchella Mansion - later the Scottish Hospital. Cooper Street approximately follows the boundary line to that property just north of Glenmore Road and west of ‘Vineyard Cottage’.
Most development in Paddington occurred when local speculative builders would construct a row of between two and four terraces, typically using architectural guide books as a blueprint. Of course, many exceptions in the suburb exist, including 4 Cooper Street, which was built as a one-off, likely owing itself to its prominent neigbhour and leafy outlook near the top of a hill. By the early 20th Century, Kinchella’s mansion was entirely “encased” by a Federation Arts & Crafts-styled extension; furthermore, the decline of Paddinton’s appeal to upper middle class families opened the door for inter-war and mid-century apartment blocks to develop along Cooper Street.
Fast forward to the 21st Century and 4 Cooper Street has experienced a flurry of activity. In 2001, the cottage was sold for $850k, likely in an unrenovated state. In 2003, a DA was lodged with Woollahra Council documenting a $300k extension and pool addition that either did or did not end up taking place prior to the property’s next sale in April 2007 for $1.46m. In 2009, a puny $86k DA was lodged once again for renovations and thus commenced the further transformation of the property. The Radical Terrace does know that throughout 2009, during a time when we lived a stone’s throw from this house, major works were undertaken. The result is exceptionally unique and mostly spot-on, despite a quirky floor plan. The original, character-filled cottage front now contains two bedrooms and the master bathroom, with an extension and a lower ground floor containing the master bedroom and all living areas, respectively. A $3m price for such a home is actually quite reasonable and reflects a price per square metre consistent with other extensively-renovated Paddington terraces in the Five Ways vicinity. Bonus points for the pool and “grassy area”.
Pauline Goodyer and Brighid Fitzsimons of goodyerDonnelley have the listing: 4 Cooper Street, Paddington
Click below for more images and a FLOOR PLAN!