The foundation stone for the Ambassador’s Residence was laid jointly by the Australian Prime Minister (Mr. John Curtin), Senator Collings and America’s Minister, Mr. Nelson T. Johnson, on the fourth of July, 1942. War-time shortages lengthened the construction time, but the building was occupied by Christmas, 1943.
The Residence is built of brick laid in waterproof cement mortar without cavities, and with rough ruled white joints. The 9” external walls in very exposed positions have never been penetrated by moisture. All structural floors are of reinforced concrete beam and slab construction, with tessellated Belgian black and Australian white marble paving to the entrance hall, sandstone flagging to the solarium, jarrah parquetry to the main floor, tallow wood parquetry to the upper floor, and linoleum on pine flooring to the service areas. The portico columns and other stone trim are of Hawkesbury sandstone and the roof is of purple Bangor slate.
The building has a commanding site with splendid panoramic views of the city and mountains, and the Chancery, set low on the fringes of the site, obscures none of the outlook.
As the Chancery and other support buildings are devoted entirely to office space and the Ambassador’s Residence is private living quarters, we regret that it is not feasible to permit visits through the buildings.