About the Glover Cottages
The Glover Cottages
124 Kent Street
The heritage-listed Glover Cottages have been the home of the AIIA NSW since 1978. A rare example of colonial Georgian architecture, the Glover cottages take their name from former owner Thomas Glover, a miner from Somerset who was brought to Australia at the age of 19 for stealing a rabbit. Glover worked as a stonemason on some of Sydney’s most notable buildings before becoming the publican of the Sailor’s Return pub in Cumberland Street, not far from the Cottages. The Glover Cottages are said to be among the first semi-detached terrace houses in Sydney; they were built in the 1820s from local sandstone and remained in the Glover family for generations after Thomas Glover’s death.
The Cottages are one of the rare remaining examples of colonial Georgian architecture, constructed by adapting traditional English rural cottages for an Australia urban setting. Between 1901 and 1910, outbreaks of the bubonic plague caused many of the buildings in the area to be demolished. Though the Cottages were resumed for this purpose, they were finally spared, along with the nearby Lord Nelson Hotel. The plague is only one of the many transformations that the Cottages have overseen in their almost 200 year long history. The lowering of the Kent Street roadway, combined with the previous quarrying in the area, left the Glover Cottages looking as if they had run aground, high above their neighbours. For this reason, the Cottages have been fondly known to locals as ‘the Ark’ since the end of the 1800s. The interior of the Glover Cottages was restored in 1977, preserving this unique historical treasure for the use of future generations.