But less than a year after moving into her dream home, Charlotte Robinson died on 9 August 1909. She was aged just 49.
In 1911 William remarried mining heiress Mary Longworth and the couple chose to keep ‘Trafalgar’ as their home right up until his death in 1947, aged 89.
In 1949, the home was sold to Mrs Joan Chapman, and then in 1956, under the growing pressure of urban development, the vast property was converted into flats by architect Adrian Ashton.
Queen St, Mosman in 1970. Image: Mosman Library/Trace.
By 1960, the construction of apartment blocks had accelerated, with fifteen buildings containing 321 flats erected in Mosman that year, compared with only seven containing 57 flats in 1959.
In his book Mosman, A History, author Gavin Souter wrote that this hive of activity faltered briefly in 1961 but resumed with gusto soon after.
“In each of the years from 1963 to 1966, more new blocks of home units were built in Mosman than houses – a total of 134 blocks containing 2025 units compared with 85 new houses,” he said.
This block of units replaced “Trafalgar” on Bradleys Head Rd in 1963.
One of these, a bland three-storey block of 18 flats, replaced Mosman’s stunning landmark ‘Trafalgar’.
The grand old lady had become an eyesore – a victim of progress – just 55 years after being built by master craftsmen.
She was stripped bare, her Kauri floorboards and kitchen stove sold off, and then bulldozed, with not one complaint from residents.
In her place came a soulless blond brick building – seen as the new modern way of convenient city living.
Ironically, it’s still standing and has outlived “Trafalgar”.