This single American Bull Bay Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is an outstanding mature example of this taxon. The Magnolia is now isolated within a highly urbanised context. This species, with its dense, evergreen foliage and large fragrant white flowers, has continued to be a highly valued and hardy ornamental since the early nineteenth century (refer to other listings of this species in this precinct including 97 Elizabeth Bay Road ‘Tresco’ and 93 Elizabeth Bay Road ‘Kincoppal’). A mature specimen growing in the Botanic Gardens was described in the NSW Horticultural Magazine, and Gardeners’ and Amateurs’ Calendar Volume I, 1864 (Horticultural Society of Sydney).
This Magnolia has local significance as an individual specimen with aesthetic, visual, and social values. The tree may predate the existing building on this property but is likely to date from the late 1940’s or 50’s as the tree appeared quite established in 1975 aerial photos. This sculptured specimen of the American Bull Bay Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is an outstanding mature example of this species.
Hughes Street is one of the oldest streets in the Potts Point area. However 1943 aerial photographs do not indicate a tree of any size was located at this point. It is more likely planted as part of beautification work in the post war period. It is now integrally associated with the Wayside Chapel buildings which is a community service centre started in 1972 which ran for many years as a 24 hour crisis centre pioneering this sort of work in Australia. The Wayside Chapel opened as a social experiment with Ted Noffs and the Uniting Church instrumental in its beginning. Each year, thousands of people visit Wayside for assistance in gaining equitable access to essential health, welfare and related services, passing next to and under this tree.