Terrace Houses at 154-160 Carrington Street, Adelaide

Terrace Houses at 154-160 Carrington Street, Adelaide

The terrace houses on this site were built in 1878 by Simon Harvey as a speculative investment. Harvey was a prominent builder in Adelaide and in Unley Park. In 1878 he was also responsible for the construction of the terrace houses at 33-39 Hurtle Square, located very close to the Carrington Street terrace. The Hurtle Square Terrace, formerly known as the D'Arcy Lever Terrace is a more elaborate and ornamental building and clearly more expenstve.

Harvey came to South Australia in 1861, and initially worked in a timber yard in Flinders Street. He eventually acquired his own timber mill at Port Adelaide, later acquiring an interest in the Lion Timber Mills and directing the Globe Timber Mills. He built a number of houses for wealthy families in Unley Park, and Harvey Street in Unley Park was named after him. At the time of Queen Victoria's Jubilee he consented to the change of the name of the street to Victoria Avenue. Although Harvey retained the ownership of the Hurtle Square terrace until 1886, he sold the Carrington Street terrace four years after its completion in 1882.

The buyer, in March 1882 was James Francis Cudmore, the wealthy pastoralist who purchased the property as an investment. Cudmore had arrived in South Australia in 1837 with his parents. James' father, Daniel M.P. Cudmore, started the family empire by the construction of pise huts, the establishment of breweries and later the acquisition of farming land in the Modbury area in 1847. This station was the first of a number that were acquired by the family located in western and central Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. In the 1850s, D.M.P. Cudmore began to transfer the management ofthe stations to his two sons.

James Francis Cudmore managed the station Paringa, near the Murray River. The pastoral empire continued to grow but it appears Cudmore over-extended himself financially in the mid 1880s. Some histories record that Cudmore was saved from financial ruin by entering into partnership with Elder, Barr Smith and Swan. Other views of the matter however, give another more sinister interpretation. Peter Howells claims:

Cudmore’s financial collapse typified that of scores of successful primary producers whose ambition made them easy prey to Robert Barr Smith’s cunning. Smith approached such people with the offer of capital to help them expand their enterprises. Then when bad seasons came, he could proceed to expropriate their assets.

Indeed in 1888, Cudmore was forced into the insolvency courts and many properties passed from his possession. It is thought that the terrace houses in Carrington Street were transferred from James to his sons, Milo and Daniel Henry Cudmore to protect the properties from creditors. In 1886, the two Cudmores became the owners of the houses and various members of the Cudmore family owned the terrace until 1911.

In 1976 the South Australian Housing Trust purchased the terrace. In 1973 the Trust devised a scheme where the authority purchased houses in need of repair relatively cheaply, repaired the buildings and offered them to low income families for rental.

The terrace houses on this site became part of the Trust’s scheme. The Trust was formed as a statutory authority in 1936 and was Australia’s first public housing authority, providing cheap housing for rental and/or purchase to those unable to afford to buy their own house.

The terrace was built at the start of a building boom in Adelaide and was completed approximately when the adjacent Earl of Aberdeen Hotel was rebuilt. The terrace consists of five attached two storey dwellings, and is built of bluestone with a rendered plinth and quoins. The terrace has rendered surrounds to windows and doors with floral keystones. Each house in the terrace is relatively small; one door and one window in width. The building has a hipped roof with simple rendered chimneys. The building features a roofed balcony from the first floor with French doors opening onto the balcony. The concave roof is painted with green and white stripes and supported by timber posts that are decorated with cast iron lacework. Some of this work does not appear to be original. At the rear the buildings have a one storey concrete block addition. They appear to be largely original although years of public housing may have been unkind internally. Both terraces, in Hurtle Square and Carrington Street and the Earl of Aberdeen Hotel contribute to and reinforce the character of Hurtle Square.


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The terrace houses are significant as a continuing residence for low income families. They contribute positively to the character of Carrington Street.

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Images of Terrace Houses at 154-160 Carrington Street, Adelaide

  • Terrace Houses at 154-160 Carrington Street, 2014
Building materials
Iron, Cast iron, Render, Plaster, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 2.6 Filigree
1878 -
Architecture and design features
plinth, quoins
Engineering features
South East Corner
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Simon Harvey, James Francis Cudmore
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Dwelling, Terraces
AS2482 classification
Public Access
Private residence
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State heritage listing
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
2.3 City Dwellers: Householders, Boarders and Tenants
4.4 Residential Development, Building Types and Living Conditions
4.4.4 Philanthropic Housing
4.7 Memorable Development Eras
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • Land Title Office, Certificate of Title 501/167, 2328/96, 193/188, 501/116; Smith Survey
  • 1880; Rate Assessment Books for the period 1874-1879; Observer, obituary for M.R. Cudmore, 19 July 1913; Howell, Dr Peter ‘How fortunes were made and lost’, Sunday Mail, 8 June 1980, pp. 36-7; Marsden, S Business, Charity and Sentiment; The South Australian Housing Trust, 1936-1986, preface, pp. 27, 376, 449; Department of Environment and Planning, State Heritage Branch, Register Nomination Report for Paringa Hall (6628-
  • 13837); Susan Marsden, Paul Stark, Patricia Sumerling (eds.), Heritage of the City of Adelaide, An Illustrated Guide, The Corporation of the City of Adelaide, Adelaide 1990, p. 219-20.

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