About the Building
Jones Family / Lord Carrington / Rozelle Hotel
Denison and Darling Streets, 1883-1909
The building stands on land of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora nation to whom I pay my respects. The building was originally two, number 758, then 760 and 762 are together a separate building. We believe it was constructed in 1883 as a pub. It is not known why W.R. Grove named this hotel the Jones Family Hotel, but it seems probable that the name was changed to Lord Carrington in 1885 in honour of the NSW governor of the time.
By 1899 the hotel had become the first Rozelle Hotel, but ten years later it was closed under the Reduction Vote, and the next occupant was a grocer. The Reduction Vote of 1907-1910 was a reaction to the ‘rowdyism and roistering’ that accompanied the blossoming of hotels along with the growth of the area. At that time the population of the area was considerably higher than it is now. There was a coal mine down the road, going under the harbour from where the Balmain Shores development now stands.
When the current owners purchased the property in 1989 it was in a sad state of disrepair. One of the cellars was full of leather offcuts that had been dropped through a hole in the floor. There had been a cobbler in the building who had several spells of incarceration in the Rozelle Psychiatric Hospital in Callan Park. The hospital is now Sydney College of the Arts. It was closed as a psychiatric hospital in the 1980’s when attitudes and policies changed. Some of the old residents are still in the Rozelle community, known as local characters. Smith Hall at the bottom of Denison Street on Easton Park is home to some.
The part of the building that is now offices in the courtyard had been used as a boarding house and was much neglected. Broken downpipes and rotting gutters meant that the back of the building had to be rebuilt, whilst careful restoration of the front and the rest of the building revealed it’s history as a hotel.
The two holiday apartments were created out of the cellars and have been rented as residential accommodation since 2003. The Artist’s Studio was the first to become holiday rental in 2003, followed by unit 5, the Writer’s Den in 2005.
The building is still owned by the three (once young) men who bought it in 1989. They are a builder, an architect, and a carpenter. They have continuously occupied it over the years. Together and separately, they have had offices in the building, or lived in it. The architect (my husband) and I lived in 762, which is the apartment on the top of the building, for seventeen years.
About the Units
The Artist’s Studio, Unit 6
The artist Marion van den Driesschen lived and painted in unit 6 for some years. As well as using the sitting area as a studio, she held classes under the jacaranda tree outside. She now lives and works up on Pittwater, north of Sydney, and exhibits regularly in Sydney. Some of her works hang in both apartments. Marion was very supportive of me opening the Washhouse Gallery at 711 Darling Street, and was the first artist I exhibited in 2004.
Franke Lowe, the writer, publisher and teacher, worked for many years from unit 5. Frank taught and inspired many of today’s practising architects. He inaugurated The Green Buildings Awards and encouraged me in my own endeavours.
“Beautiful apartment with adorable art pieces! Very spacious and comfortable. Definitely loved the decorative style. Location is very convenient too! Thank you for the lovely experience! Thanks, Gillian. (From Malaysia)