City of South Perth

Place Number



181 Coode St Como

Location Details

Cnr Eric St

Local Government

South Perth



Construction Date

Constructed from 1930

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 14 Nov 2000

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Classified by the National Trust Classified 03 Nov 1996

Statement of Significance

Statement of Significance • The place has aesthetic value as a largely intact demonstration of the form and detail of the Inter War Californian Bungalow style executed in brick and tile. Internal details that remain from the original construction are likely to reflect this style. • The place has historic value for its association with the establishment and development of Como in the Inter War period for residential development. • The place has historic value for its association with successful builder and designer Horace Costello who was associated with many prominent projects in the Inter War period. • The place has social value as a demonstration of the scale and form of residences built for affluent members of the community and their families in the Inter War period.

Physical Description

This description was extracted from the National Trust Assessment Form, prepared by the Art Deco Committee of the National Trust, Art Deco Society of Western Australia, September 1996. This 11 roomed (5 bedroomed) house is constructed on a large corner site at the intersection of Eric Street and Coode Street. The site has since been subdivided, and a second house has been constructed on the remnant original site. The second house on the site does not have heritage significance. The large clay brick and tile ‘double-fronted’ corner residence is an excellent example of the distinctive Inter-war Californian Bungalow with characteristics of the earlier Federation/Arts and Crafts Bungalow Style. This style became popular in California in the 1920s and it is believed that the Residence: 181 Coode Street was modelled on a similar home in Los Angeles. The Residence: 181 Coode Street is located in a prominent raised position with views to the Swan River, and has a main gable roof, the ridge of which runs east-west, intersected by two smaller gables flanking the entrance porch facing onto Eric Street. These gables all have prominent verges (eaves) and are half-timbered, as is the small gable at the centre of the main ridge which forms part of the 1992 two-storey additions to create extra accommodation at the rear of the house. The ridge of this small 1992 gable forms an extension of the ridge of the rear wing which extends the house considerably. The roof of these additions also contain small gables, one facing east and two facing west, maintaining the design of the original roof form. The eaves are battened and the main gable ends are corbelled out from the walls and feature a pair of lead-lighted ‘Arts and Crafts’ windows to each end of the attic roof space. Small lead-light windows are also located below the gable on the street frontage and provide light to the bathroom. The Residence: 181 Coode Street addresses the corner with frontal treatment to both Coode and Eric Streets and a large corner window of four wooden double hung sashes subdivided into square panes. The brick walls are set on limestone block foundation walls and the street frontage walls are tuck-pointed in black mortar up to mid-window level with white painted cement rendering above. A wide concrete verandah extends the front porch across the Eric Street front and along the western side to provide a raised outdoor living area overlooking a swimming pool, sheltered from the sun but open to the sea and river breezes and the distant river views. Originally, the western side of the verandah overlooked the family’s tennis court. The separate flat roof to this verandah is supported on pairs of cement columns mounted on brick piers with pierced brick balustrading between. The fully glazed double entrance doors and side lights are located with an alcove created by a brick Tudor arch and are approached by an angled flight of wide cement steps flanked by low brick walls. The windows are mostly grouped wooden mullion sash type with square panes, and the living and dining rooms open onto the western verandah through glazed jarrah French doors. The interior features typical transition ‘Arts and Crafts/Art Deco’ detailing, including moulded ceilings and wide stained jarrah architraves and skirtings with high level plate rails. The wide entrance hallway features built-in stained jarrah cupboards and has a decorated cupola recessed into the ceiling. External features that commonly appear in the Western Australian ‘Californian Bungalow’ style house, and noticeable in this house include: • Prominent, broad, simple roof planes with main gable roof parallel to the street • Street facing, half-timbered gables • Wide eaves overhang and prominent gable verge • Deep shady verandah or porch with brick piers and grouped columns • Tuck-pointed face brickwork • Tudor archway • Flat topped chimney • White painted roughcast cement rendering • Natural stone foundation walls • Projecting wooden window frames • Geometric pattern lead-light glazing • Glazed doors • Attic room in roof (often with ‘eyelid’ dormer window) The Residence: 181 Coode Street is said to be one of the few remaining single-storey residences designed and built by Horace Costello.


This residence was built in 1930 by noted designer/builder Horace Costello as his own family home. Costello was associated with the design of a number of houses and public buildings in Perth in the Inter-War period. His influential designs are represented in the Nedlands district by the Carmelite Monastery and Chapel, the Maisonettes on Stirling Highway, and in Menora by the ‘Breckler Mansion’ in Alexander Drive, among others. Previous research has revealed that during this period of economic depression Costello engaged several unemployed workmen to assist in the building of the house. The house was originally situated on a half-acre (2,024 sq. metre) block, as were many of the larger houses in South Perth, Horace George Frederick Costello (c1903-1989) married Jeanne Agnes Friedman (c1911-1996) in 1930 and this was the couples first home together. The origin of the name Summerhill has not been determined in this research. In the 1930s, Summerhill (fmr) was understood to have been the venue for many social events including poker parties to raise funds for the building of Saint Columba’s Roman Catholic Church, Forrest Street, South Perth. At one of the Costello’s card evenings, a guest, Frederick William Jago, a retired bank official, was so impressed with the house that he persuaded Costello to sell it to him. The exchange took place on 3 July 1935. On Fred Jago’s death in March 1949, the property passed to solicitor, Arthur Valentine Rutherford. In 1956, during the Rutherfords’ ownership, the site was subdivided to create a new house lot which became No. 45 Eric Street. The land comprising the new lot had formed a garden area to the west of the tennis court. In September 1965, the property was transferred to George and Helen Embleton who built a second residence in c1985 on the site formerly occupied by the tennis court. During this period of ownership a swimming pool was constructed in the property. Aerial photographs indicate that the original form and extent of the residence can still be determined. In 1992, two storey additions were constructed on the southern elevation creating a garage accessed from Coode Street which altered the original roof form.


Very Good

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence

Architectural Styles

Inter-War California Bungalow

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Other Brick
Other CONCRETE Other Concrete

Historic Themes

General Specific

Creation Date

08 Nov 1996

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

25 Sep 2020


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