Historic Morella set for new ownership in Mosman

Historic Morella set for new ownership in Mosman
Historic Morella set for new ownership in Mosman

Morella, the unliveable Mosman mansion perched above Chowder Bay that has sat idle for 15 years, has been listed for sale.

More than $7.3 million is being sought for what remains of the home built in 1939 for the Parer family. 

Executors of the estate, McGirr Lawyers have instructed LJ Hooker Lower North Shore agents Geoff Smith and Richard Harding to put it to September 29 auction.

It will be welcomed by the many disgruntled nearby neighbours who have periodically called the police to the long abandoned property whenever it was occupied by teenagers at night.

Morella could return to be one of Mosman's most noteworthy residences, with its position upon the Taylor Bay Walk, but it would take a huge renovation. 

After it was designed by architect Eric Nicholls, who was Walter Burley Griffin's partner, the 1943 edition of Australian Home Beautiful magazine devoted six pages to its sandstone grandeur. 

“An immense circular loggia is built out from the central hall facing the water,” the article said.

“Its short Corinthian pillars support an equally huge open sun deck reached from the bedroom above.

“Then beneath this, for the site of the house slopes steeply down to the water, excavation has been made for the building of a ballroom across the entire front of the house.”

The home on its 865 sqm block is listed as a heritage item under Mosman’s Local Environment Plan.

It was built for Leo Parer, who was a director of the Stanford X-Ray company, and his wife Helena.

They lived there with their three children, Anthony, Mariana and Sarita.

In 2005 when NSW Heritage met with Anthony Parer the cost of fixing the home was estimated as in excess of $1 million, which Parer advised the family did not have.

This article was first published in the Sunday Telegraph.


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