A modest brick bungalow that has stood intact on Sydney’s most iconic headland for more than a century has been reduced to rubble.
The house called Lang Syne, meaning “times gone by”, has long been the envy of passers-by taking the famous Brontë to Bondi walk in the luxurious eastern suburbs.
Billionaire advertising guru David Droga, 54, and his film producer wife, Marisa, bought the property for $45 million last May and finally revealed their plans for the block.
Demolition began at the site on Thursday, with a crane making easy work of the 1920s single-storey brick bungalow, which was torn down in just a few hours.
Waverley Council approved the demolition of the iconic house in January, but many locals were unimpressed.
‘It is very sad to note that this landmark disappeared the other day. But that’s what Sydney does,” said one.
Another added: “I can smell a McMansion on the road.”
But others argued that just because the house is old doesn’t mean it deserves protection.
‘Everyone who complains needs to get a life. The individual paid for said property and land. They can do whatever they want with it. The fact that something is old and people are used to seeing it is not a sufficient reason to put it on the heritage list.’
The Drogas claim that the new property to be built on a 1,100 square meter plot of land will be built with “moderation” and “respect.”
The iconic single-storey bungalow stood proud on the Tamarama headland for over a century.
The house was demolished in just a few hours on Thursday and now all that remains is a pile of rubble.
This section has long been the envy of all passersby walking the Brontë to Bondi road.
The new owners reveal why they bought the property
The homes’ new owners, who live in Manhattan, New York, with their four children, plan to return to the waterfront home every Christmas.
Droga, CEO and creative president of Accenture Song, revealed that he had been “obsessed” with the terrain for years.
“I always remember thinking, ‘That’s got to be the best piece of land in Australia,'” he told The Australian Financial Review shortly after the sale.
“I was so obsessed with it growing up.”
Droga, who refers to himself as “The Dingo of Wall Street,” is considered one of the most powerful players in global advertising.
Throughout her 30+ year career, she has worked with the likes of Barack Obama and Beyonce and the United Nations.
He grew up in Perisher Valley in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales before moving to Sydney, then Singapore and London, before landing in New York in 2003 to run a billion-dollar advertising agency.
Droga founded his own agency, Droga5, in 2006, which was named one of the most innovative companies in the country in 2013.
Advertising guru David Droga, 54, and his wife, film producer Marisa, bought the property for $45 million last May and have now revealed their plans for the lot.
What makes the property so special?
The bungalow is built on a huge 1,100 square meter block, giving the property incredible 180 degree views along the coast.
It sits directly on the headland between Tamarama Beach and Mackenzies Bay, offering maximum privacy with no adjoining neighbors or even high-rise apartments interrupting the picturesque ocean views.
It was listed with a price guide of between $47 million and $52 million, which is unusual even in Sydney, where those prices are reserved for harborside mansions, rather than homes open to the elements coming straight from the ocean. .
The sale has broken records in the area, with Tamarama’s previously most expensive block changing hands for $29.2 million.
Award-winning architect Bruce Stafford described the house as “one of Sydney’s finest sites” for its privacy and position on the headland.
‘We’re actually in an urban environment, but it feels like you’re in the countryside. This is gold. “It has all the potential to become Australia’s most iconic home.”
Mrs Griffiths said Lang Syne had been “party centre” for decades and had hosted 21st birthdays, barbecues and family gatherings.
“I just think about the years we’ve been here and they’ve always been happy times,” he told the Australian Financial Review in November 2022.
Previous owners of Lang Syne
Lang Syne was previously owned by radio legend Harry Griffiths and his wife Dimity, who bought the property for just £9,750 in 1959, the equivalent of $18,000.
The family spent 63 years in the home, where they raised four children.
Griffiths was already famous when he bought the house for his radio comedy sketch ‘McCackie Mansions’ with fellow comedian Roy ‘Mo’ Rene, which was popular from the early 1940s to the late 1950s.
The house had belonged to Newtown shoemaker George Frederick Wolf, who paid £1,000 for three blocks of land that make up the property in 1922.
The sale included a warning that Wolf build a house that would cost no less than £600, which he complied with.