By Cathy Jones
Marion Street Strathfield is a heritage conservation area, primarily featuring interwar bungalows.
The street is located on part of the original 1841 land grant to Joseph Hyde Potts, Secretary of Bank of NSW. By 1918, the land was owned by Francis Howard Potts and Arthur Campbell Fraser of Homebush, descendants of Joseph Hyde Potts. The land was subdivided in 1923 and offered for sale as the ‘Crown of Strathfield’ Estate by auctioneer H W Horning & Co Ltd. Many of the streets on this estate are named for members of the Potts/Fraser family such as Edgar Street, Fraser Street and Howard Street.
The estate was advertised in the The Sun on 11 April 1923, page 1
CROWN OF STRATHFIELD
H. W. Horning’s Sale
On Saturday, April 21, H. W. Horning and Co., Ltd., will submit the Crown of Strathfield Estate at auction on tho ground at 3 p.m. This estate, situate In South Strathfield, contains one hundred and fifty-six allotments, ranging in size from 60 x 150 to 50 x 260. The estate Is adjoining the grounds of the Christian Brothers’ Training College, and is a few minutes’ walk from motor ‘bus services running to Strathfield Station. Tho homes in this locality are of a good class and the land is rightly named the “Crown” of Strathfield, as it commands extensive views over the surrounding country. The title of the land is Torrens, and five pounds per lot is required.
The ‘Crown of Strathfield’ subdivision included a public recreation area. The late 1910s and 1920s were a period of rapid subdivision in Strathfield and Council required public open space to be dedicated in large subdivisions to ensure that new residential areas had reasonable access to public parks. The recreation area was later dedicated as Kessell Square, named for Arthur Kessell, Mayor of Strathfield 1919-20.
Though this estate was first offered for sale in 1923, most of the houses on this estate were not built until the late 1930s, likely due to the effects of the 1930s Depression.
The primary purpose of naming houses was to identify location especially for delivery of mail, goods and services. The practice of naming houses declined with street numbering. Strathfield Council commenced street numbering in the early 1920s. Most of houses in Marion Street was built in the 1930’s when this practice had declined, therefore most do not have house names.
The Strathfield Heritage Study by Fox & Associates in 1986 recommended Marion Street as a heritage conservation area.
Marion Street primarily features interwar style bungalows. This area is listed on Strathfield Council’s local environmental plan. The statement of significance states:
“Rising from north to south Marion Street is representative of interwar styled housing. This style dominates the original 1881 Potts Estate that was developed until the 1930’s and 1940’s. The estate is bounded by Mackenzie Street to the east, Mitchell Road to the west, The Crescent to the north and Barker Road to the south.
The houses are predominantly single storey with tiled hip roofs, dark coloured brick, small front bays and verandahs, timber windows and low brick fences. Marion Street has brush box street planting and well kept gardens that add to the overall streetscape value. Marion Street is of local significance as representing a cohesive group of housing from the 1930’s and 1940’s that retains, form and detail’.