St Brigid’s was built in 1897 for Captain Arthur Lassetter as their family home. It has been home to local families, the headquarters for the Royal Commission on Espionage and a community gathering place as the Woollahra Arts Centre. It was most recently the Woollahra Library, before its’ relocation to Kiaora Place. The 124-year-old house overlooking Blackburn Gardens at Redleaf is a two-storey building of brick construction with timber floors, tiled roof and rendered exterior. Although the building was allegedly structurally sound, it was dilapidated in condition and therefore was a need to refurbish it as part of Council’s repurposing of the building into a community centre and art gallery.
The building is located below street level, (New South Head Road), with only the entry portico, upper part of the first floor and roof line protruding above street level. The ground floor is located within Blackburn Gardens, on land sloping from the harbour. Pedestrian access is via a portico with stairs immediately descending to first floor level. There is a pedestrian ramp, to the side of the building, extending from the pavement aside New South Head Road down to the gardens surrounding the building. There is no vehicular access. The site’s boundaries are with the garden and eventual harbour to the north, a private residence to the east, New South Head Road to the south (building encroaches on land outside this boundary) and another Council plot to the west.
Works generally comprised the refurbishment of the existing two storey property, (including extensive new mechanical and electrical services); demolition of existing first floor courtyard slab; construction of new bathroom amenities and new courtyard slab, (requiring the effective underpinning of New South Head Road with piles and rock anchors); construction of new glass clad lift and associated walkway access to Council’s pavement and external landscaping upgrade works.
As an Indigenous business, we proudly acknowledge that this project was completed on the traditional lands of the the Gadigal of the Eora Nation.