From Home to Museum: Celebrating 100 years
exhibition marks the Centenary of the Federation cottage Boronia, which now serves as the home of the Willoughby Historical
Society and the Willoughby Museum. This event links the exhibition to the 2013
National Trust Heritage Festival theme, ‘Community Milestones’.
historical photographs, maps, real estate plans and contemporary images, the
exhibition places Boronia in the
context of the residential development that occurred in Chatswood following the
opening of the North Shore Railway in January 1890. Several of the
sub-divisions by local developers featured unique characteristics that
attracted well-to-do families to purchase allotments and develop grand Federation
bungalows in the early decades of the 20th century. As historian Max
Kelly commented in 1988:
1920 the Federation house, frequently splendid, had transformed the physical
appearance of Chatswood. Federation Chatswood was well-built, innovative and
costly. Individually designed houses expressed a pleasing combination of brick,
tile, terracotta mouldings, tessellated paving, lead lights, rusticated stone,
stucco and marble. ... The Federation house can in many respects be seen as
uniquely Australian, and Chatswood of the 1920s excelled in the genre.
The exhibition explores the establishment
of the residential estates in south Chatswood from the early land grants to the
various sub-divisions; the establishment of fine houses in Late Victorian,
Federation and Inter-War styles; the demolition of residential housing stock
for commercial development in the Chatswood regional centre in the 1970s and
80s; and the community response to identify the remaining heritage features and
protect the character of the area though the South Chatswood Conservation Area,
which was established in 1995.
Six significant houses within the
conservation area are examined in detail, as well as the history of Boronia.
The story is told through 14 large high-quality panels created by Sue Burk and
Rob Wilson to tell the story through photographs, maps and plans with minimal
text. These are backed by displays of household objects that explore the
everyday life of local residents from 1913 and architectural items from local bungalows
that were demolished in the 1980s.
Additional elements of the exhibition are
under development and will be added during 2013. Click here
to download a poster of the exhibition.
The exhibition was formally
opened by heritage architect Dr Scott Robertson on 21 April 2013. His speech,
which drew wide acclaim from the audience, can be downloaded by clicking here.