The corner of East and South Terrace is the setting for the grand house Ochiltree, built in 1882 for John Rounsevell. Rounsevell made his fortune as a pastoralist and owner of a coaching business based in Pirie Street. His services delivered mail across South Australia using a team of more than 1 000 horses. A skilled horseman himself, Rounsevell had previously built a 20 roomed mansion in nearby Hutt Street (now the Navy, Military and Air Force Club). He served as a member of State Parliament and on the Adelaide City Council.
Ochiltree is believed to be the work of architect Gustav Jaochimi. The house is unusually decorative and flamboyantly detailed. The combination balcony and projecting veranda, and the mansard roof, highlight the main entrance, which is set between the two large bow- windows. The building is distinguished from many other town houses of the same period, yet epitomises that boom period and the upward social mobility of the wealthy pastoralists who built these grand mansions.
The house is a landmark, situated as it is at the junction of South and East terraces and overlooking the eastern Parklands. Its visual significance is enhanced by the setting and the open space that surrounds it. The cast iron fences facing South and East Terraces add significantly to the streetscape of the area.
Despite a number of additions to the side and rear, the architectural quality of the complex has been upgraded to suit the later subdivision of the house into individual residential units in the 1980s.