A History of Elwood




The Elwood Entity

The Traditional Owners

The Fever Ship

Rams and Roads

Recreation on the Hill and the Beach

War in Elwood

Early Settlers

Bushrangers in Elwood

From Swamp to Canal

Noxious Activities

Bluey and Curley

Early Buildings

Radio 3EF Elwood

Trams to the Rescue

Squizzy in Elwood

Shops and Community Services

Elwood's Little Napoleon

A Visit to Elwood Junction 1940s and 1950s

The Writer and the Artist

Flats, Flats and more Flats

The Architect of Elwood

Walking Tour of the Art Deco Apartments of Elwood

Poets Corner


The Admiral of Elwood

Elwood Timeline





James Henry Esmond Dorney (1906-1991), was an Elwood resident who changed the face of Elwood, designing at least 16 distinctive buildings.  A one-time employee of Walter Burley Griffin, he formed his own practice in 1930.  At first his style was conventional, such as the delightful Tudor Revival block ‘Surrey Court’ at 71 Ormond Road (p.88) in 1933.  He soon evolved to become an exponent of the popular Functionalist style of the 1930s.  His parents obviously thought highly of his talents and allowed him to convert the family home ‘Chenier’ (corner Glenhuntly and Ormond Roads) into flats in 1934.  His mother, Marie Kiernan, engaged him in Antigone flats 1937 at 34 Docker Street and in St Kiernan Flats 1939 at 51 Ormond Esplanade.  He built many other blocks including Garden Court 73 Marine Parade funded by his father-in-law, Del Monte Rose at I Broadway, L’Espoir at 39 Shelley Street and the marvellous Streamline Windermere at 49 Broadway (now listed on the Register of the National Estate).  Dorney joined the RAAF during the second world war but was captured and reported as missing in action.  Upon release he found that his wife was in a new relationship.  He married again and resumed his career becoming a highly regarded modern architect in Tasmania.