Grand designs for mansion

Owner Ted Smith in front of Tukurua, on the market for the first time in 118 years and |expected to sell for more than $50 million. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d423788
Owner Ted Smith in front of Tukurua, on the market for the first time in 118 years and |expected to sell for more than $50 million. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d423788

Tukurua is on the market for the first time in 118 years.

‘I think it will be, yes, because I wouldn’t want something outrageous done with Tukurua, as it would only be fair to the house and (previous owner) Dorothea Cass,’ owner Ted Smith (80) said.

Mr Smith put the 1896 property, which was restored for $5 million between 2003 and 2009, on the market 10 days ago after two Australian boutique hotel operators expressed interest.

Mr Smith said any potential buyer’s intention for the land, which includes a 2065sqm lot facing Marine Parade, would be taken into account after his architect created plans for three- and four-home developments that included an east-west avenue to maintain the sea views from Tukurua.

‘I think the sale would attract people who had a lot of money and who would think it would be very nice to have a large garden or a swimming pool to complement the house, and if not, something like chalets on the land that wouldn’t obliterate the house,’ Mr Smith said.

The land was used by WA’s first attorney-general Septimus Burt as grazing pasture for the ponies used for the trip from Tukurua ” built as a summer residence ” to Peppermint Grove. Tukurua housed servicemen during WWII, before Miss Cass bequeathed the property to Mr Smith in 1994, and he restored it.

The mansion is one of Cottesloe’s five most significant heritage homes, alongside Kulahea and Barsden on Forrest Street, Le Fanu on Marine Parade and Belvedere on Rosendo Street.

Mr Smith said he would not have sold the home if he was asked two years ago, but he had changed his mind in light of his age and a desire to take advantage of still being fit and active.

An avid watcher of the building and design show Grand Designs, Mr Smith said the property offered an opportunity for interesting yet sympathetic architecture, but he wondered whether Perth was adventurous enough for a turf-covered roof with meadow flowers, seen recently on the show, that would hide any low development and maintain the views from Tukurua.

‘Wouldn’t that be lovely? But I doubt if that idea has reached here yet,’ he said.

See Opinion, page 10