House of the Week: 7 Fort Drive, Newcastle East

Posted by

The grand dame of Fort Drive TweetFacebook Rich history This East End terrace has been the home of an Ecuadorian ambassador, Newcastle MP and the mother of a renowned painter. The four walls of this charming Fort Driveterrace are drenchedin history.
Nanjing Night Net

One of theoriginal owners of “Lynton” was Portia Bohannah Bennett, the mother of a famous painter of the same name.

It was the opulent residence of the ambassador to Ecuador, Manuel Gundelach between 1909 and 1921 before it passed into the hands of Arthur Rowland Gardiner, a former Newcastle MP.

A more colourful clientele moved in as it was advertised as a boarding house for“refined” ladies andgentlemen in the 1930s.

Itsurvived the Japaneseshelling, spent decades blanketed in smog from the ZaaraStreet Power Station, and has watched Newcastle East comefull circle as the working class moved out and the city’s elite returned to live by the ocean.

Beautifully maintained but essentially unrenovated, Vendor Sally Smith–who is relocating to the valley – admits that stepping inside the parlour, you can feel the weight of those that have gone before.

“Sometimes you can walk into an old house and it creeps you. But not this house. The minute I walked in, I felt good.

“It’s a privilege to livehere. You feel more like a custodian than a home owner.”

Pressed metal ceilings, leadlight windows and three fireplacesfeature across three storeys. An upstairs balcony offers views over the beach and harbour.

Ms Smith was wistful for thelocals who had been part of the fabric of the suburb for decades –like the Hays brothers and ‘Snake’ –butwere no longer around.

“They were alcoholics and untidy, but when you saw them you knew you were in the East End,” she said.

Newcastle East

7 Fort Drive

3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 garage

Auction November 26

Agency: Dowling Wallsend

Contact:Lucas Gresham 0432 288 284 Gabrielle Shotter0401 373 200

Inspect: By appointment