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ELAINE - The Priceless Jewel of Sydney Harbor

by Catherine Cloney

The Elaine Story - Full from Goldeneye Media on Vimeo.


"Elaine" - Home for more than 120 years to the Fairfax family, one of Australia's great media dynasties, this magnificent holding is the essence of old Sydney - a time when sweeping estates lined the harbor foreshore and provided the setting for many of the country's most important and fascinating events.



Today Elaine stands alone as the last of those great estates to be offered into private hands, and represents an opportunity the likes of which will not be repeated for generations to come. Set over six titles, it is three times the size of the nearby "Altona", which fetched $52million when sold last year.



"It was a very special site on Sydney Harbor, a beautiful, generous site. And the house was really arranged to be a sort of hub for Sydney society." HOWARD TANNER, MOA, HISTORIAN AND ARCHITECT



For more than 120 years, 'Elaine' has been home to the Fairfax family, one of the world's oldest media dynasties. In 1841, the Fairfax family founded the flagship newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald. As their media empire grew, the Fairfax name became one of the most influential in the country. In the 1800s, Sydney's harbor front was defined by significant estates of vast size with expansive views. 



From the outset, Sydney's wealthiest and most important families sought out covetable and prized locations around Sydney Harbor and the Fairfax's were no exception. The prestigious waterfront location of Point Piper with its beautiful swimming beaches and proximity to the city's headquarters was perfect for them and in 1891, George Fairfax and his new wife Lena took up residence at the exceptional estate 'Elaine'. Over the coming years, the family would gradually expand and update their grand Victorian mansion to become one of the Harbor’s landmark properties and a hub of Sydney society. 


Today, the grounds of Elaine retain the essence of Sydney as it was and it continues to evoke a gentle sense of calm and intimacy. While much has changed around this estate and along the harbor front, Elaine remains untouched and true to the Fairfax Family's original vision when they established a wonderful, private retreat overlooking one of the most beautiful sights in the world; Sydney Harbor.



In his interview for the film Elaine - The Story, noted architect Howard Tanner explains "For the Fairfax's, it was a special place to be. Not only was the house deeply comfortable and convenient to the city and their businesses, but it was actually a retreat. This garden and this house are very, very private. So I think for the family, it was always a place they could come for absolute privacy."



Elaine's ballroom, lounges, balconies, grounds and glorious grass tennis court have played host to politicians, dignitaries, businessman, sportsmen, philanthropists, entertainers and artists in an array of glittering events and smaller gatherings that are remembered to this day.


Importantly, the Fairfax's were always happiest when their family home Elaine was used as it was intended - for the family and they were known to use the estate's wonderfully private gardens and beaches as their escape.



Land of this size in this location was and remains premium land and Elaine comes with a unique pedigree and legacy to match this. Prestige, provenance, location, desirability and a unique legacy all create the intangible mix that is Elaine.



 Elaine was, is and always will be the most exceptional estate on Sydney Harbor. A priceless jewel in the crown of one of the world's favorite cities and we are delighted to place her on the international stage.