Moran family's Redleaf, Wahroonga sold for $8 million plus

Moran family's Redleaf, Wahroonga sold for $8 million plus
Moran family's Redleaf, Wahroonga sold for $8 million plus

Redleaf, the grand 1899 Howard Joseland-designed residence at Wahroonga, proudly sitting on 5000 square metres, has been sold for $8 million plus.

It didn't get near its close to $10 million initial expectations through Christies International.
It was one of the earliest homes designed by the respected British-trained architect after he arrived in Australia.
Joseland installed a sweeping verandah around the two-storey brick-and-shingle structure to capture the cooling summer breezes.
Initially it was on a six hectare lot, when the solicitor Walter Parish of the Sydney legal firm Parish Patience and McIntyre, built on what was then known as Lane Cove Road.
The showpiece Federation arts and craft style house has been listed with $10 million hopes by the Moran healthcare family.
Greta and Doug Moran paid $38,400 for the property in 1967 and then returned it to a single-family home with 10 bedrooms for their seven children Kerry, Linda, Peter, Shane, Barbara, Brendan (deceased) and Mark.
In 1970 the couple reportedly added the cottage next door for $40,000, an adjoining block the following year for $35,000 and and vacant block in 1984 for $130,000 to create what the 5000-square-metre offering.
Doug and Greta Moran were driven by a desire to preserve Australia's heritage as well as look after the health of Sydneysiders.

It was the family’s first major home restoration in a portfolio that still includes Darling Point’s Swifts, Camden’s Study Park, Darling House at Millers Point and Paddington’s Juniper Hall.

Greta, who was credited as being the administrative powerhouse of the family operation, is now based in the luxury Moran retirement living community at Vaucluse.

She is a direct descendent of one of colonial Sydney's most colourful early settlers, Robert Cooper who was transported after being caught smuggling fine French silks, cognac and ostrich feathers during the Napoleonic wars. Later pardoned, Cooper built Juniper Hall, a fine early Sydney building on Oxford Street.

Redleaf's 1899 design was considered avant-garde in its time.
William and Rose Parish sold it to the Crane family in 1916 for 600 pounds. Arthur Crane died in the 1930s at Pevensey on nearby Ada Avenue.
After many changes in ownership it was left to the Sisters of Mercy in 1948 by Violet Yuille, widow of the Dr Alan Yuille.
It was in 1999 when the heritage architect Clive Lucas from architects Lucas Stapleton & Partners undertook its award-winning restoration, the trades being careful not to trample the hundreds of camellias planted in the grounds.
Over the decades, bits had been added on especially in the years it been used as a home for elderly nuns. 
The home had also escaped extensive modernisation which transformed many other old homes in the area after World War II.
The panama-hat wearing Lucas removed the four bedrooms that had been built on to the verandah, blocking off the breeze and light.
Underneath, Lucas discovered the old footings, which had been quarried from sandstone on the site.
The billiard room saw Lucas remove a false ceiling, the behind it covered by seven coats of paint, was the original cedar ceiling. 
Greta shared with Lucas a passion for William Morris designs so they used his wallpapers, designs and fabrics and restored the original colour schemes.
Simple headlight with flowers such as hollyhocks and sunflowers survived. Cosy inglenooks around the fireplaces and seats in the big bay window were given new life.
The Wahroonga house won the Greenway Award for Conservation from the NSW Chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects
At the time Greta said it had been like re-discovering the house and on its completion Mrs Moran was asked how does it feel to live in a period piece?
"It seems normal to us. I grew up living in my grandmother's house. Maybe I haven't progressed with the times. In a plain white box I would never feel comfortable, I like colour." 

Tim Smith, director of heritage operations at Heritage NSW, says recent studies of community attitudes to Federation homes confirm not only do the homes retain their value over time, but investing in their restoration only increases their market appeal.

The photo (above) is from the book, Our Beautiful Homes N.S.W., edited and introduced by Michael Cannon.

As said in the book "Barristers and solicitors were well represented as owners of houses in the new architectural styles." 



Wahroonga Our Beautiful Homes

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