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North Adelaide. Carclew. Art Deco leadlight on doorway. This mansion was built in 1897.
Image by denisbin
This prestigious block of land in North Adelaide overlooking the city near Colonel William lights lookout was sold in 1837. After several owner a two storey house was built upon the land in 1851. Well known Adelaide architect Edmund Wright purchased the house with a partner in 1855. In 1896 the house was sold to Hugh Dixson a wealthy Adelaide merchant who had plans drawn up for a new residence. The new Edwardian style house with Queen Anne features, namely the round corner tower and spire and the numerous balconies was completed in 1897 and Dixson called the house Stalheim or steel home. His architect for this new residence was John Quinton Bruce. The house had a grand entrance hall designed to impress with a butterfly staircase to the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom with massive carved wooden newels and stained glass windows to the north. The house had some wood panelling and very fancy and colourful pressed tin ceilings and ornate ceiling roses. Dixson moved interstate in 1908 and put Stalheim up for auction. Lady Bonython, the wife of the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper proprietor Sir Langdon Bonython purchased the house. When Sir Langdon Bonython died in 1939 the house was transferred to two of his spinster sisters. They lived in the grand mansion without modern bathrooms or electricity or a hot water service for many years and the house deteriorated. When they died in 1956 the house was left to eleven Bonython family members and rented out until it was sold to the City of Adelaide in 1965. University students then rented the house for some years when further damage and deterioration occurred. In 1976 the City of Adelaide did the first major restoration of Carclew and it became a Youth Arts Centre.