House at 55 Symonds Place, Adelaide

House at 55 Symonds Place, Adelaide

This house is important as a record of some of the embellishments that were used and available in the boom years of the city. It has evidently undergone periodic additions and alterations and is noteworthy for the manner in which these reflect the increasing aspirations of its owners.

One owner, plasterer Charles Vernon, occupied the house at least from the 1860s until 1908. The present appearance of the building is a result of his trade. The building, which is important mainly for its facade, presents an eccentric appearance. It has vermiculated quoins. The elaborate parapet and the surround to the main entrance featuring pilasters with foliated capitals combined with a Gothic arch, are all carried out in stucco. Internally highly decorative plaster ceilings, mouldings, plaster architraves and skirtings remain. The building attests to the achievements of Vernon who was the artisan involved in the flamboyant detailing of shops at 150-154 Rundle Mall. The shops were so distinct in style and detailing that a description of them appeared in an eastern colony journal.

The building is an important element in the street because of its distinctive appearance. It relates well to its immediate surroundings, but is compromised by nearby commercial development and a car park which detract from the character of the street.

The item displays evidence of periodic additions and alterations, but with its embellishments these enhance its significance.


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It is of historical significance because of its age and the manner in which it illustrates features of the early residential development of Adelaide.

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Images of House at 55 Symonds Place, Adelaide

  • House at 53-55 Symonds Place
Building materials
Render, Stucco, Stone, Sandstone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890)
1860 -
Architecture and design features
vermiculated quoins, parapet, pilasters, foliated capitals
Engineering features
South East Corner
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Charles Vernon
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Dwelling, House
AS2482 classification
16010 - House
Public Access
Private residence
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5879/835 F181919 A267
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State Heritage listed
State heritage listing
State Heritage listed
Date of State heritage listing
Local heritage listing
Date of Local heritage listing
NTSA listing
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
2 Peopling a city
2.2.1 Early Colonial Settlement
3.7 Working Men and Women
3.7.6 Labouring
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Assessments; Builders & Contractors’ News, 3 September 1887; Douglas, Councillor
  • C., archival photograph.

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