Wendt came from Holstein, at the time part of Denmark, in 1854. He set up in Pirie Street as a watchmaker and jeweller, then moved to a more prominent location in Rundle Stret. He also established outlets at Mount Gambier and Broken Hill.
Wendt was involved in other commercial ventures, such as the Theatre Royal (1868) with Samuel Lazar and John Temple Sagar, Adelaide Arcade, and the Freemason’s Hall in Flinders Street. He died in 1917.
Council approved plans for Cartref in June 1882. Architects Henderson and Marryat advertised tenders and Wendt’s residence was finished by late 1882.
The house is a typical if rather plain example of a boom period villa in a two-storey asymmetrical form. It is dominated by the classic gable over the rusticated bay window, a return balcony and jettied veranda. All are typical of the Adelaide building style.