by Cathy Jones, 2021
42-58 Albert Road Strathfield are the surviving examples of the larger estate of Federation cottages that were located on Albert Road and Churchill Avenue between Elva Street and the Strathfield Town Centre built around 1906 to 1907.
These cottages are built on land which was originally granted to Thomas Rowley in 1799 which was called ‘Rowleys Farm’ and later renamed Burwood. In 1812, ownership of the estate transferred to Alexander Riley. By 1903, a portion of this estate which was partially located in Strathfield was subdivided as Deposited Plan 4254.
The subdivision was marketed for sale as the ‘Railway Estate’ Strathfield by Richardson & Wrench in conjunction with Henry F. Halloran & Co on 31 October 1903. This estate offered land lots for sale on the south side of Clarendon Road (later Albert Road) and on The Avenue (later Churchill Avenue), bordered at the west by Elva Street.
According to 1907 Cyclopedia of NSW, Stanley Rickard designed ‘thirty first class residences at Strathfield’. These residences were built on the new land lots sold from the Railway Station Estate. The sites were developed by architect Stanley Rickard (1883-1976) and his father the Rev. Richard Heath Rickard (1858-1938), who are listed as the land owners until the completion of the buildings which were then on-sold. The houses were built in Albert Road and Churchill Avenue, between Elva Street at the west boundary and towards the Strathfield Town Centre at the east. Of all the houses that were built, only the houses at 42-58 Albert Road still remain. The other houses on Albert Road and Churchill Ave were demolished with the building of the Raw Square roadway and the large unit developments close to the Strathfield Town Centre.
The surviving houses at 42 to 58 Albert Road are a group of seven single storey small Federation Queen Anne style cottages. This includes four semi-detached between 42 to 48, three free standing at 50 to 54 and a single storey Federation house on the corner of Elva Street. All of these houses are built of brick and most retain their original slate or terra cotta roofs. The cottages feature decorative timber detailing to the verandahs while the house features a large brick entry arch with rendered quoins.
The architect Stanley Noble Rickard (1883-1976) was the son of the Emma Rickard (nee Noble) and the Rev. Richard Heath Rickard, a Wesleyan clergyman who worked for many years as a missionary. Rickard was also related to Arthur Rickard, one of Sydney’s most prominent real estate developers. Stanley Rickard was educated principally in the State schools at Newcastle and Mudgee, finishing his course of studies at Newington College. After passing his junior examination, he spent four years with Messrs W. Noller and W. Gawne, of Newtown, mastering the technicalities of the building trade and also studied at the Technical College, under the superintendence of Cyril Blacket. After he articled to George Sydney Jones, ARIRA, he began to practice on his own account in Sydney. One of his earliest projects was the ambitious project of designing ‘an estate of thirty first class residences at Strathfield averaging about £1000 each’.
The houses were sold as the buildings were completed. 42 & 44 Albert Rd were sold to Hester Chicken, daughter of Joseph Chicken, owner of the Strathfield Flour Mills. 46 & 48 Albert Rd were sold to Catherine Mary Chicken, sister of Hester Chicken. The other houses were sold to J J Combe, with the exception of 54 which was sold to Mrs C Webster, who resided in the house until it was sold in the 1920s.
In 1908, Rickard designed extensive brick stabling and wagon sheds at Arnott’s Biscuit factory at Homebush. The builders were W. Gawne and Sons, builders. He was also contracted in 1908 by William Arnotts Ltd to design also four cottages near the factory for the company.
Rickard married Ruby Chaseling in 1912. Her father gifted them a house in Strathfield upon their marriage. Rickard is listed as a resident of Albert Road Strathfield to about 1920, however prior to 1920 he had served overseas during World War I.
Cyclopedia of NSW, 1907
Contracts, 1908 May 5, Sydney Morning Herald, p. 11 viewed at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14923808
TENDERS. (1908, January 7). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved September 6, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14871341
“Social”. 1912 April 20, Windsor and Richmond Gazette. NSW. p. 10. Viewed at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85848258