Built in 1870 by Thomas Smith, an alderman on Penrith's first municipal council, Thornton Hall has a significant place in the area’s history.
UrbanGrowth NSW acquired Thornton Hall as part of the wider Thornton development site and, having undertaken preliminary repairs to the building, last year sold the building to experienced heritage building specialist, Peter Cipollone.
“The conservation of Thornton Hall is, in many senses, the final piece of the Thornton jigsaw, so I am delighted that the conservation works are now underway,” said UrbanGrowth NSW Head of Western Sydney Projects Portfolio, Matthew Beggs.
“The masterplan for the broader Thornton development has always included a commitment to seeing Thornton Hall conserved and in productive use, and the long term vision to add a childcare centre will ensure it once again becomes a hub of activity at the heart of the residential community.”
Mr Cipollone said he planned to build the childcare centre at the rear of the property, while the Hall will house the centre’s administration rooms.
In order to source materials to match lost elements of the heritage building, Mr Cipollone has interviewed descendents of the original owners of Thornton Hall.
“The original doors were stolen and several fireplaces were missing, but I’ve been able to track down similar pieces to help re-create the original features of the house,” Mr Cipollone said.
“I’m particularly excited about rebuilding the upstairs widow’s walk that can be seen in early pictures of the Hall.”
Penrith Mayor, Councillor Karen McKeown, said it was fitting to start the conservation work in Penrith’s Bicentenary year.
“The delicate conservation works acknowledge and celebrate the rich history of our city, connecting us to our past and reminding us how far Penrith has come in 200 years,” Cr McKeown said.
“Thornton Hall has played an important role in our city’s history and I’m thrilled to see it brought back to life by Mr Cipollone for future generations to use, appreciate and enjoy.”