Drawing dated 1951 for the Palmerston (Turramurra) house (SLNSW).

Four years after entrepreneur Terry Palmerston began manufacturing Snelling furniture, he commissioned Snelling to design the first of two houses that he self-built for his young family on upper north shore sites during the early 1950s.

One sheet of blueprints, signed by Snelling associate Peter MacCallum and dated 1951, is the only documentation so far found of this first Palmerston residence. These plans, elevations and section show a split-level, pole-elevated structure floating above a site that sloped downwards from busy Pentecost Highway (now Avenue) at Turramurra.

The plan showed three bedrooms along the east side of the upper (main) floor, a living zone on the west side, and a sandstone-walled central kitchen facing a dining area to the south. Between the children's bedrooms and dining zone, a external staircase led downstairs to a lower-ground laundry and Hills Hoist clothesline. Visitors

Cars entered the skillion-roofed carport from a wide, short, elevated driveway off the north-east boundary, then visitors encountered several rustic sandstone walls and steps to reach the concealed front door.

The four elevation drawings indicated various roof styles: butterfly, flat and gently pitched. It is not clear how these different slopes were combined to effectively handle rainwater.


—Sue Collins, personal communications, 5 and 8 July 2019.

—Sydney: SLNSW PICMAN Archive PXD 874, architectural drawings by Peter MacCallum.