Statement of heritage value - No. 2 Gosse Street, Alice Springs
The house at No 2 Gosse Street, completed in 1958, is a distinctive single storey ‘U’ shaped masonry building of generous proportions that sits on a corner block in Alice Springs’ ‘Old East Side’, overlooking the Todd River. It is the best preserved example of the ‘Contemporary Modern’ style in Alice Springs. It has retained almost all of its original features including fittings and fixtures, as well as external features such as fencing and outbuildings.
No 2 Gosse Street was part of Stage 3 of the ‘East Side’ development, and is associated with the era after World War II when residential development expanded to the east side of the Todd River in order to accommodate population growth in Alice Springs during those years.
The house can be considered to be an exemplar of a particular architectural style (new at the time) that prioritised functionality. In this case, the design was executed with a keen aesthetic eye and an impressive attention to detail. The use of built-in cabinetry, such as storage cupboards, bookcases and shelving units are a feature – these were designed to replace free-standing furniture pieces that were considered to create clutter.
The house demonstrates a good design response to the hot central Australian desert climate, at a time prior to the widespread use of air conditioning.
The property has only had two owners, and both can be considered to be of importance in the course of the history of the Territory, Alice Springs in particular. William Stanley Brown, retired pastoralist, moved into the completed dwelling at No. 2 Gosse Street in 1958 and lived there until 1977, when the lease was transferred to Dr Berna Jean Madill. Dr Madill arrived in Alice Springs in 1970, and was one of Australia’s first female gynaecologists and obstetricians.
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Last updated: 04 November 2019