As the large farm holdings were subdivided in the 1920s and 30s, various land estates were created in the area, including the Stonehaven Heights estate. Marketed at those with financial means, the estate took advantage of the high position of what was then known as Mount Pleasant, and its high ridgeline which afforded views from all directions. The estate was extensively advertised in the mid to late 1930s in the Brisbane newspapers:
Stonehaven Heights, Mount Pleasant, 57 Ideal Home Sites, Amidst Delightful Surroundings and Modern Bungalows; the estate is one of Brisbane’s beauty spots, and is conveniently situated … with glorious panoramic views of the city and mountains … right in the track of the cool summer breezes, and every modern convenience – water, electric light, gas, and telephone.
Stonehaven Heights estate was promoted as being close to the tramline, public school and parks. By the late 1930s the majority of lots had been sold and suburban development had transformed the estate. A series of large, architect designed homes were built on the ridgeline amongst more modest but aesthetically pleasing houses creating one of Brisbane’s most sought after residential addresses.
In May 1939 Stonehaven Heights was featured in the Telegraph’s ‘Better Homes’ section under the heading “A Colony of Character Homes”. The feature highlighted the efforts made by all the property owners in the estate to ensure the aesthetics of the estate were maintained in relation to the fine houses, gardens and settings, “the object is to encourage each home whether small or large to give atmosphere to its neighbour and therefore build to an idea”. The article described the wide range of architectural designs in the estate such as Spanish Mission and English Revival, “It is a pleasure to drive amongst these well-planned and maintained homes … those people who own homes on Stonehaven Heights are to be congratulated”
In 1939 Johannes Ernest Kindler purchased a twenty four perch block of land situated on the high ridgeline of Percival Terrace. The transfer of the Title Deeds to Kindler may have been delayed, as sometimes occurs, as the plans for a new brick residence for Kindler were approved in February 1936 for Percival Terrace. No architect was recorded for the design of the house. The contractor commissioned to build the house was B. Hollingworth. By the early 1940s the house had been completed and Kindler and his wife, Sara Kathleen, were listed at the address in the Electoral Rolls.
Johannes Ernest Kindler is better known as John Ernest Kindler and was a leading figure in Queensland’s engineering history. After graduating from the University of Adelaide as an engineer with a master’s degree in 1930, he secured a position with the New South Wales Department of Public Works working on the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From 1934 he secured a position as assistant to the supervising engineer on the construction of the Story Bridge in Brisbane. As the largest steel bridge, constructed entirely with local materials and built by Australians, the bridge was designed to span the Brisbane River between Kangaroo Point and Fortitude Valley.
With the escalation of World War Two and the increasing risk of enemy attack, Kindler was seconded to the Allied Works Council in 1942 to assist with the construction of coastal defences and marine facilities under Queensland’s deputy director-general of allied works, Sir John Kemp. After the war, Kindler gained several important engineering positions with the Queensland government, including deputy chief engineer of hydraulics. In 1954 he was promoted to chief engineer and was involved in important infrastructure projects such as Barron River and Tully Falls hydro-electric schemes, development of the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus and supervised the construction of twenty significant bridges throughout the state.
Kindler played an integral role in advancing his profession and was awarded several prestigious awards for his engineering work and sat on the board of the faculty of engineering at the University of Queensland and in 1965 helped found the Queensland Institute of Technology, now known as the Queensland University of Technology, where a lecture theatre and academic medal has been named after him.
Kindler died in 1968, but the Percival Street property remained in the Kindler family until the 1970s. Today, the striking brick and masonry house makes a significant contribution to the streetscape and illustrates the pattern of development of fine houses in Holland Park in the Interwar period.