Type of place
This elegant 19th century house was constructed circa 1883 for machinist and carpenter Henry Smith as a rental investment property for middle class residents. As one of the oldest surviving houses on the ridge of Dornoch Terrace it provides evidence of the development of this part of Highgate Hill as a desirable 19th century address. Smith sold the property in 1892 and it has since had a number of different owners.
Henry Smith, a planing machinist and carpenter built this timber residence around 1883. Sited on an elevated block of 27.4 perches and named ‘Glenview’, it was one of the earliest houses built in Dornoch Terrace and is probably the oldest residence remaining intact in the street.
The title of the land on which it stands was acquired in October 1881 in the name of Ann Sarah Smith, the wife of Henry Smith. A mortgage taken out in January 1883 by Smith is a possible indicator that the residence was built in that year, and Henry Smith is recorded in Dornoch Terrace later in that year.
Henry Smith resided in ‘Glenview’ only for a short time, before renting the house to tenants. Accountant John G Barnes, later manager of Morehead & Co., rented the premises until 1892. Smith in the meantime was using the property as collateral to a number of mortgages during the late 1880s. In March 1892, the property was mortgaged to William Hopkins for £700. November 1893 saw the property transferred to Fanny Hopkins, the wife of William Hopkins, perhaps as some arrangement to repay the mortgage during the severe economic depression, which hit the colony.
Hopkins appears to have been a railway contractor, and initially resided in Paddington. In the ownership of the Hopkins, ‘Glenview’ remained a short-term rental property, occupied by prominent individuals such as solicitor Dermot O’Donaghue, and the widow Fraser formerly of ‘Torbrek’. Fanny and William Hopkins moved into the property around 1898. Upon Fanny’s death in 1908 the property was transferred to her daughters Emily Ryland Hopkins and Susan Martha Hopkins, spinsters. William Hopkins continued to live in the house, possibly with the daughters, until the late 1910s. Thereafter the Misses Hopkins lived there, possibly until Susan’s death in 1943.
In 1941, a 24 perch subdivision was sold to Demetrios Cominos, heralding the changing cultural mix that would impact upon South Brisbane in the postwar period. Emily Hopkins then became the sole owner and the property was transferred to Arthur and Albert Hopkins upon her death in 1948, passing out of family hands in that year.
This residence is an excellent example of late Victorian era Queensland architecture, with attention shown to detailing. The house consists of two rectangular plan shape sections Brisbane City Council Heritage Unit 3 with the back one slid slightly to the right. The roof consists of two short ridge roof cores with a convex roof over the front verandah. There are no eaves for any of the roof sections. A corniced chimneystack with three pots, galvanised-iron acroterias at the gutter corners and corbel brackets detail the roof. A semi-circular arched roof and fretwork pediment indicates the entry to the verandah. Moulded dowel balustrades, moulded and corniced verandah posts, Art Nouveau brackets, small corbels at close and regular intervals under the verandah and the hood gutter line and within the entry pediment are distinctive features. To both sides of the entry door, french doors provide further access from the house to the verandah. A bay window on the left side of the house contains casement windows with pyramid roof.
The picket fence at the front of the site arcs downwards between moulded fence posts. Along with a large fig tree to the front right of the site it provides a significant contribution to both the residence and the streetscape.
Statement of significance
Relevant assessment criteria
This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:
The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the city's or local area’s history
as one of the earliest surviving houses in Dornoch Terrace. It provides evidence of the middle class residential development that occurred along the ridge of Dornoch Terrace during the mid-to-late nineteenth century.
The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class or classes of cultural places
as an excellent example of an 1880s middle class residence in the Queensland vernacular style.
The place is important because of its aesthetic significance
for its balanced proportions and ornate decorative detailing.
Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised November 2019)