Yarlington, Tasmania Credit: Christine Boyce
Yarlington, Tasmania Credit: Christine Boyce
Lugano, 215 Clarke Street, Northcote VIC 3070
Lugano, 215 Clarke Street, Northcote VIC 3070


These beautiful heritage buildings are works of Art. They are known by their own names, and are mixed media masterpieces often with fancy brickwork, fine tiling, polished floorboards, or at best parquetry flooring, with complex skilled joinery, and artistic embellishments such as ornate ceilings, beautiful artisan lead light windows and a valued heritage.
 Cooinda, Birchs Bay TAS
Cooinda, Birchs Bay TAS

Jump in: to ask questions or participate in discussion, click middle button above herelearn more: Video Tours of Federation and Heritage Homes;Latest Posts: Cooinda, Birchs Bay TAS, Unalla, Peppermint Grove WA, Architect Christopher Cowper
Federation Excellence,
Whitehall, Sorrento guesthouse, Launceston's Elphin Road, Launceston's High Street, Launceston's Federation Houses, Why buy Federation style?, Art Nouveau Homes (updated), Gothic Queen Anne Style

Which Federation Style?




Federation Queen Anne Style
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Federation Filigree Style
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Federation Arts and Crafts
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Federation Bungalow
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Read more on Federation House style (jump to article)
[Next page: Four Federation Housing styles]

Quick Picks: Federation Houses Open for Inspection, Desirable Features, Classic Federation Features, Federation Excellence


What is happening to Tasmanian Heritage?

Tasmanian Heritage - mass deletions from the Tasmanian Heritage Register - read the story here

National Trust Tasmanian Heritage Registers - view the work in progress here



A Brighton Beach Federation property, currently on the market. Photo: Hodges Brighton
A Brighton Beach Federation property, currently on the market. Photo: Hodges Brighton

The enduring appeal of Australian Federation architecture
external image jennyheadshot-150x150.jpgJenny Brown
Domain Reporter
9 May 2016
"Federation housing (1888-1919) comes in a variety of sizes – including semi-detached– and in a couple of sub-groups, such as Arts and Crafts, which heritage architect Ian Stapleton of Sydney’s Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners, explains as being “usually architect-designed rather than builder-designed”.

  • "He explains this gracious residential typology that combines the qualities of British Queen Anne Revival and American Stick Style as “something terrific, because apart from Colonial, it was an Australian type of architecture”.
  • "Sometimes called “Edwardian”, the best examples of the turn-of-the-20th century type are generally found in the leafy or garden suburbs that surround the more densely-subdivided Victorian belts of capital cities and regional centres. They also appear singly on farms where the early 1900s wool checks were famously generous."
  • "Another characteristic of detached Federation houses is they are often set on large allotments. In Sydney, they’re in suburbs like Haberfield, Mosman, Neutral Bay, Burwood and Centennial Park.
  • "In Melbourne you find them in the inner east and south east."
  • "In Brisbane they are in the western suburbs and the wealthy riverside areas."


Federation Homes Open for Inspection:

‘Lugano’ 215 Clarke Street, Northcote VIC 3070

215 Clarke Street, Northcote, 3070. Photo: supplied
215 Clarke Street, Northcote, 3070. Photo: supplied

Lugano, 215 Clarke Street, Northcote, 3070.
Lugano, 215 Clarke Street, Northcote, 3070.

Lugano, as its owner and builder Lawrence Edwards christened it, has been a landmark on Ruckers Hill since 1912.
Its Queen Anne architecture, with a widow’s walk, turret, bay windows and a grand staircase from verandah to driveway, clearly has lasting appeal for Don Taig.
In 1990, Taig saw an ad for Lugano.
“Six hundred people attended the auction,” he recalls, “but I knew none of them were genuine bidders.”
He kept his hand down and bought Lugano two days later. A history boffin, Don Taig proved the ideal second owner for this extraordinary house.
He and his wife restored it, reproducing the original paint colours – rose pink, cream and duck-egg blue – and tracking down an expert craftsman, aged 100 and still working, to repair the pressed-metal ceilings. He’s proud to call Lugano “a completely preserved period home, incorporating contemporary features in a period style”.
The listing; Feature Article
  • “This is Northcote’s most magnificent example of the Federation style, on a vast block with a second street frontage & breathtaking views. It will set a Northcote record price.” Sam Rigopoulos – agent.

Cooinda, 3707 Channel Highway Birchs Bay Tas 7162

3707 Channel Highway, Birchs Bay
3707 Channel Highway, Birchs Bay

Tasmanian Federation home, Cooinda for sale $3m
Tasmanian Federation home, Cooinda for sale $3m

The former divisional director and head of training for equity markets at Macquarie Bank, Rohan Boman and wife Anne, have listed their Tasmanian Federation home Cooinda, which sits on a sprawling 3.4 hectare parcel on the edge of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel with views of Bruny Island.
Built in 1905, the fully renovated Cooinda has four bedrooms, a formal dining room, a central study and a sheltered garden terrace.
They keep chicken and sheep on the property which also features a 1984 renovated barn and a self-contained cottage. More at PropertyObserver,com

Unalla, 5 View Street, Peppermint Grove WA 6011

Unalla,5 View Street, Peppermint Grove.
Unalla,5 View Street, Peppermint Grove.

Beautiful Federation Queen Anne-styled Unalla – home to Western Australia’s doyenne suffragette Bessie Rischbieth – is on the market for only the second time in its 113-year history.

  • Unalla, built in 1903 by dynamic South Australian entrepreneurs Bessie and Henry Wills Rischbieth, is the last remaining mansion-sized estate in the exclusive Perth suburb of Peppermint Grove.
It is a striking home that exudes historical significance.
  • The unique cachet of property in Peppermint Grove has never waned and, to this day, the suburb is one of the most prestigious, desirable and tightly held residential addresses in Australia.
  • Prominent Perth family names and some superb original residences from those early days remain, although many of the major landholdings have been subdivided over the years. Read more at domain.com. Our page: "Unalla..."; The Listing...

Harelands circa 1903, 5 Willsmere Road Kew Vic 3101

5 Willsmere Road, Kew, Vic
5 Willsmere Road, Kew, Vic

The grand Federation mansion Harelands in Kew has been listed with $12 million to $15 million hopes.
Listed through Prue Jones of RT Edgar Hawthorn, 5 Willsmere Road was designed by leading architectural firm Ussher and Kemp and has 11 bedrooms and six bathrooms.
Entry is via a regal reception hall and the lower level features a drawing room with oak panelled ceiling, a verandah running round the house, a rumpus room and a wine cellar.
  • Built around 1903 for a family with four sons, it was taken over in the 1950s by Melbourne Legacy as a children's hostel.
  • Saved from developers in the 1980's, it has since been restored and used as a home and a surgery by its doctor owner.
  • The home last traded for $539,000 in 1985. (Property Observer 20 MAY 2016)

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Elystan House, 12 Elystan Road, New Farm: Brisbane landmark for sale

One of New Farm's most recognisable residences, 'Elystan House', a captivating blend of impeccably-restored architecture and functional, modern design.
Must see renovation!
A grand gabled entry and wraparound verandah introduce the home's Federation-style character, which inside features 10 foot pressed metal ceilings, polished hardwood floors and lead light windows.
  • Esteemed architect Kevin Hayes has created an array of luxurious indoor-outdoor living spaces, while remaining true to the property's rich heritage. Privately positioned within an exclusive, tree-lined street on the fringe of New Farm Park, a combination of tranquillity and inner-city accessibility promises families an enviable lifestyle. Read more: Historic New Farm property Elystan House hits the market

Anna Maria, 2 Pine Ave Camberwell Vic 3124

2 Pine Ave, Camberwell
2 Pine Ave, Camberwell

‘Anna Maria’ house is of typical Federation style architecture built in circa 1921, located in the Sunnyside Estate of the traditional part of Camberwell in a tranquil tree lined street, surrounded by many prestigious houses and friendly neighbourhoods.
The house has recently been fully renovated and extended and has pleasing modern characters of spaciousness and brightness.
Basic Federation elements, combined with provocative modern skills, have produced in the design of the house something which, while traditionally correct, has a pleasing modern characters of spaciousness and brightness, not just appearing as classically elegant and graceful, but also with the interior structurally reborn, which creates a ‘Beauty from Within’.

14 Studley Avenue, Kew

Private Sale $3,995,000


This elegant residence with a commanding corner position (1126 sqm approx) is a Studley Park landmark. Designed by the renowned architect Christopher Cowper (1907), this heritage home set in mature landscaped gardens features vast rooms and a wealth of Arts and Crafts-inspired design elements, including
  • large bay windows,
  • coffered cedar ceilings and
  • superbly crafted leadlights and
  • open fireplaces.


The Gables, 1 Cedar Court Sandy Bay Tas 7005

seeking offers over $2million
1 Cedar Court, Sandy Bay
1 Cedar Court, Sandy Bay

An exquisite example of the late Queen Anne Revival style;
Indicative Place on the Register of the National Estate
The Gables, designed by Architect Chris Cowper (Melbourne) and constructed in 1911. is one of few examples of the Federation Queen style in Hobart; particularly substantial and rich in adhering to the characteristics of the style. It is one of the most extensive surviving developments, and provides a significant contribution to the style in Hobart.
Features inherent of the style and inclusive of this example are: an asymmetrical complex roof structure, which is noted in the three prominent offset gables of steep pitch which give it a vague Tudor feeling and terracotta roof tiles with ridge and apex ornament. The Gables has a half-timbered effect above the bay windows in combination with stucco in the gable ends. The timber work is scalloped and painted green.

A Landmark Residence - Rathmines, Collinswood, SA

2 Salisbury Tce, Collinswood SA
2 Salisbury Tce, Collinswood SA

A charming Sandstone Queen Anne Villa incorporating stylistic Art Nouveau features this home boasts 4 spacious bedrooms with an optional fifth bedroom or day room plus study.
The turret entrance and rectangular bay window truly sets this most impressive residence apart.
With beautifully proportioned rooms including a stunning formal sitting with rectangular bay window and curved ceiling formal dine this home has been tastefully updated with a French provincial inspired kitchen...
  • Recognised in 2002 (Heritage Number 3180) as a place of local heritage value.
  • The property is associated with the notable and famed architect, Mr Alfred Wells (b. 16 May 1859 d. 8 December 1935).
  • Considered one of Adelaide’s foremost architects he was responsible for iconic buildings such as the Adelaide Arcade and the Jubilee Exhibition Building (demolished c. 1965), both of which sported ornamental domes.

Claremont 13 Claremont Street, Launceston Tas.

Read more about this house at Launceston's Notable Federation Houses

Built in 1843 with later ornate Federation remodelling and Arts and Crafts treatment by Gunns builders.
Claremont circa 1843 is a prized jewel! It has fine Art Nouveau detailing and a grand staircase.
"The house is significant for the quality of its Federation period additions by Gunns, added to dramatically at the turn of the century."


Also Open for Inspection:

12 Elystan Road, New Farm QLD 4005
12 Elystan Road, New Farm QLD 4005

4 Wedderburn Place, Ascot WA
4 Wedderburn Place, Ascot WA

191 George Street, Launceston
191 George Street, Launceston
Lot 4 Fleet Street, Branxton
Lot 4 Fleet Street, Branxton

  • in Queensland
  1. 12 Elystan Road, New Farm QLD 4005
    in W.A.
  2. Unalla, 5 View Street, Peppermint Grove WA 6011 - Contact Agent
  3. Invercloy, 4 Wedderburn Place, Ascot WA 6104 - "ready to be returned to its former glory" - asking $899,000
  4. 51 View Terrace, East Fremantle WA 6158; State Heritage Award for Renovation, Offers from $3,990,000
  5. 198 Grey Street West, Albany WA 6330 asking $2,500,000
  6. in South Australia
  7. Rathmines, 2 Salisbury Tce Collinswood SA 5081- Last Sold for $1,280,000, 7-Dec-13; Viewing - Saturday 30 April 2016
  8. 2 Prescott Terrace Toorak Gardens - contact agent
  9. 33 Esmond Street Hyde Park SA 5061 estimate $1.29M - $1.39M
  10. 288 Kensington Road Leabrook SA 5068 (was over $2m; now asking $1,950,000 )
  11. 444 Magill Road Kensington Gardens SA 5068 contact agent
    in NSW:
  12. 132 Shaftsbury Road Eastwood, NSW 2122 Auction: Sat 09 July 2016 at 02:00 PM
  13. Lot 4 Fleet Street Branxton NSW 2335; $455,000
  14. Fermanagh 47 Morton Avenue, Yass NSW 2582, asking $1,100,000
  15. Manor House, 22 Glebe Street Yass NSW 2582, TV Star - 46 rooms, including a ballroom that can seat 100 people
  16. 1 John Street, Wallsend NSW 2287, featured on Don Bourkes’ “Better Homes & Gardens” for extensive original leadlighting
  17. 162 Great Western Highway, Wentworth Falls NSW 2782 - $650,000
  18. Sandon, 31 Telegraph Road Pymble, & Redriff, 53 Telegraph Road Pymble NSW - contact agents
    (both by appointment, $$$, both State Heritage listed in a street of over 15 Heritage listed properties)
  19. Rowe Cottage, Mittagong NSW; State Heritage Listed: (price reduced: asking $2,950,000) Sold for $2.8 million
    in Victoria
  20. 26 Linda Crescent Hawthorn Vic 3122Sold Date: Sat 19-Mar-16
    and in Tasmania:
  21. Cooinda, 3707 Channel Highway Birchs Bay Tas 7162, asking $3m
  22. Claremont 13 Claremont Street, Launceston Tas. (see above, $2m?)
  23. The Gables, 1 Cedar Court Sandy Bay Tas 7005 (see above, $2m)
  24. 2 Boa Vista Road New Town Tas 7008 - asking $950,000
  25. Hargate, 191 George Street Launceston Tas 7250, Registered on the National Estate Offers Around $1,100,000 Considered

Federation architecture refers to the architectural style of Australian homes built around the decades before and after 1900 AD. (jump to article)

Recommended books:

Click picture or link to find in a bookshop:
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Shop forTHE FEDERATION HOUSE on Google
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Getting the Details Right
Ian Evans
Towards the Dawn .
Federation Architecture in Australia 1890-1915,
by Trevor Howells and Michael Nicholson,
The Federation House:
Australia's Own Style,
by Hugh Fraser
2nd edition, 2002
The Federation House
A Restoration Guide
by Evans,Ian
3rd edition, 2004
The Federation House
A Restoration Guide
by Evans,Ian 1992
The Federation House
A Restoration Guide
by Evans,Ian 1999
Restoring Australian Houses
Ian Evans
Getting the Details Right: Restoring Australian Houses 1890s-1920s

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Leura, Bellevue Hill

Architect Walter Liberty Vernon
Alba Longa,
Appian Way Burwood
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Desbrowe-Annear

Recent Posts:

see also : "In the News":

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Federation Fame

Too late ... Historic Arden, in Hawthorn East will be knocked down to make way for a four-storey apartment block.
Too late ... Historic Arden, in Hawthorn East will be knocked down to make way for a four-storey apartment block.

Historic Peppermint Grove property sold for 17.5 m
Historic Peppermint Grove property sold for 17.5 m



Federation architecture refers to the architectural style of Australian homes built around the decades before and after 1900 AD.
There are significant differences:

From Australian Stories Australian architecture:
  • "The ornate Federation house, built mainly between 1900 and 1914, was a sign of prosperity - an Australian version of the English Edwardian house.
  • Federation houses were detached, with gardens, and with Australian motifs and a roof of terracotta tiles with detailed fretwork in the roof gables and windows.
  • Many houses had a sunrise motif in the front gable as a sign of the dawning of a new century.
  • Add-ons and renovations with heritage restraints were a constant experience of living in a federation house.
  • By the First World War (1914-1918), there was a shortage of tradesmen and materials. The cost of houses had to be reduced, so the ceilings were lowered to create 'bungalows', houses which were built between 1915 and 1940. Gone was most of the detail, and a plainer style lead lighting was put into the front windows."


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Blackwood House in Melbourne by Butler and Ussher in 1891
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Sam Hood (1872-1953), Family with car &
Queenslander house, 1920's.

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Federation house in Cairns, 1914.
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Redleaf House, Wahroonga
Sydney, 1899 by Howard Joseland

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Dining Room with Fretwork ArchWestholme, Water Street, Wahroonga 1894 by Howard Joseland
1waterst25_01.jpg
Living room with timber trim, ceilingWestholme, Water Street, Wahroonga 1894 by Howard Joseland
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Fireplace in the Camellia room, Mananga, Berry NSW 1894 by Howard Joseland
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Cast iron restored bath in en suite, Mananga, Berry NSW 1894 by Howard Joseland

Picturesque and eye catching houses

Federation-style houses constitute a unique statement of patriotism since Federation details used Australia's remarkable flora and fauna.
"For the first time, the flowers, birds and animals of the bush were used to decorate plaster, pressed metal, glass, terracotta and fretworked timber. ." Ian Evans "
  • Decorative features such as gables and motifs adorn the roofs of the property.
  • The rising sun emblem that appeared on countless gable ends symbolised the dawn of a new age for Australia and was itself adopted as a national symbol
ori_1228_1946865785_1075450_WINDOW9716A.jpg
Leadlight windows are also a common feature and as a result, Federation houses are often very picturesque and eye catching." - Archicentre - see below
  • These rambling homes are regarded as the first design style that embraced the outdoor lifestyle. Blocks were deep to allow for homegrown food cultivation.

Since I live in a Sydney suburb with a rich heritage of these houses, I hope to document the details of these and similar houses in these pages. Eventually I hope this site will be a definitive source of Federation decorative detail.
  • Anyone with similar interests is very welcome to contribute to this topic.
  • You can leave comments on my blog Federation Details. To comment here you need to join this Wiki, please.

Federation Features

The features of Federation style architecture include:
  1. Red brick walls of a deep red or dark brown brick, often with a mix of the two
  2. Exposed rafter ends visible under roofs, a characteristic usually visible, not obscured by gutters
  3. Some times the mortar is 'tuck-pointed" to make a ridge of white mortar running along the joints between the bricks.
  4. Dominant roofs,
    often broken by false gables and capped by terracotta frilled ridges and motifs decorating the exterior of the property.
    8c527c9d-b57a-4ea7-9f80-3ecdbfd814ea.jpeg
    Lenoma, (Federation Queen Anne style) 7 Chrystobel Crescent, Hawthorn
  5. Ttimber verandah columns supplemented by elaborate timber decoration, often in art nouveau style -
    "Federation homes are known for their often exuberant timber ornamental decorations.
    Friezes fretwork, balustrades, art nouveau style swirled brackets and arch supports are all common." - Manly Council
  6. Bay windows with shingles, or in large buildings, oriels on upper floors
  7. Leadlight window panes or a set of small coloured glass windows above the main window set.
  8. Low picket fences usually painted white or cream
  9. Large decorative ceilings often of pressed metal or with decorative cornices
  10. Minimal gardens with hedges.
  11. Australiana decorative detail
  12. Outdoor toilets in un-renovated houses
Keep reading... next page: Four Federation Housing styles or below, Federation Style advice

Federation-features.gif
A common Federation design designed by builders of the period

Image courtesy Manly Council NSW

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HABERFIELD - THE GARDEN SUBURBWHEN Sunday 5 MayTIME 1:30-4pmCOST $10 | Bookings EssentialCONTACT 0412707898 | vacrow@hotmail.comAddress - To be given upon booking.The event will be postponed if there is rain. The creation of the suburb of Haberfield in 1901 was a milestone for the local community, in that it transformed residential development there from a 19th century model to that of a Garden Suburb. This was a milestone for the national community as Haberfield became Australia’s first planned Garden Suburb ‘establishing a model for Australia’s suburban development in the 20th century’. This walking tour will include houses open for inspection, tour notes and afternoon tea