Sydney Architecture Images- Glebe

Reussdale and The Abbey Restaurant


Ferdinand Reuss


160 Bridge Road




Victorian Free Gothic


brick Sandstone



Ferdinand Reuss trained as a civil engineer in the British firm of Robert Stevenson, the great lighthouse engineer and grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson. After some time in the USA, Reuss came to Australia during the 1851 gold rush, eventually setting up an architecture practice in Sydney. On land he had purchased on either side of Pyrmont Bridge Road, he built houses, most of which he rented out to others. He lived in The Hermitage at 154 Bridge Road from 1866 until his death in 1896. Sadly, several of his other houses are now derelict. They include: Hamilton (156), and Reussdale (160), perhaps the earliest example of High Victorian domestic design in Glebe. Number 177 is also attributed to him. The Abbey at 158 was a Presbyterian church built by the American-born architect Thomas Rowe on Broadway in the 1870s, then moved stone by stone to its present site in 1920; it has most recently been a restaurant.

Reussdale, now and then!

Reussdale, 160 Bridge Rd, Glebe, NSW
List: Register of the National Estate
Class: Historic
Legal Status: Registered (21/10/1980)
Place ID: 1660
Place File No: 1/12/022/0021
Statement of Significance:
Within Presbyterian Church classified group. Refer to main listing for group.

(The Commission is in the process of developing and/or upgrading official statements for places listed prior to 1991. The above data was mainly provided by the nominator and has not yet been revised by the Commission.)

Built by Reuss about 1868. An assymetrical cottage with a tower in the re-entrant angle above the front entrance. Unrendered sandstock brick facade, robust carving to sandstone lintels and wooden barge boards, patterned and moulded brickwork; gabled slate roof. Unusual house suggesting the influence of the writing of Ruskin and Butterfield.
Appears to be the earliest example of high Victorian domestic architecture in Glebe. (B and K Smith).

Condition and Integrity:
In need of restoration.
160 Bridge Road, Glebe.


Ms Sandra Nori to the Minister for Planning and Minister for Housing—(1) Why has he chosen to go against the finding of Commissioner Mark Carleton in April 1991 to refuse the demolition of the historic cottage "Hamilton", additions to the beautiful gothic cottage "Reussdale", and the construction of a reception centre which was out of character with the surrounding residential area and conservation zone? (2) Is he aware that both Hamilton and Reussdale are two of five remaining works of the distinguished architect Ferdinand Reuss Jnr build in the 1870's? (3) Will he ensure that in any future development, the restoration of "Reussdale" is assured by requiring the owner to enter a legal agreement to restore the building before any other development takes place? (4) Will he ensure that while negotiations are continuing, the owner is required to protect "Reussdale" from the weather under section 118 of the Heritage Act 1977, instead of allowing demolition by neglect? (5) Will he continue negotiations with Leichhardt Council to address concerns that the design of the proposed reception centre is too large, too ugly and will produce too much noise, and require the owner to produce a less environmentally damaging proposal? Page 1715

Answer—I have been advised by the Minister for Planning and Minister for Housing that the answers to the honourable member's questions are: (1) Following the Commission of Inquiry, an amended proposal has been submitted. This addresses various concerns that were raised by the Commissioner of Inquiry. In view of the importance of restoring "Reussdale", the Department of Planning has further negotiated with the applicant and LeichharCouncil to achieve a more acceptable proposal. (2) Yes. (3) The restoration of "Reussdale" is the main consideration in any development on this site. This will be reflected in the conditions in any approval. (4) Section 118 of the Heritage Act 1977 applies where there is deliberate neglect of a heritage item for the purpose of enabling its removal and the redevelopment of the site. This does not apply to "Reussdale" as the applicant proposes to restore and use the building. (5) The Department of Planning has consulted Leichhardt Council on this proposal and on draft conditions of consent to address Council's concerns about the impacts of the development. Some amendments to the design of the proposed reception centre have been made including the enclosure of the piazza to restrict noise.

Property ID: 2006048614

Glebe's last 'iconic' development site just 2 kms from the C.B.D.
3368 sqm (approx) level site with 3 street frontages
Innovative D.A. residential/commercial mix featuring 9 new luxury strata residences plus a commercial conversion of a High Victorian Gothic Church and the restoration/renovation of 'Reussdale' a magnificent 1870's mansion
200 metres to Glebe Village and an easy walk to Sydney University campus, Darling Harbour, waterfront parkland & Broadway retail/entertainment centre.
Choice of city bus link 'on the doorstep' or the light rail station just 5 minutes walk away to access Central station and downtown Sydney.

Asking price $6 million.