This picturesque cottage is the North Lodge, constructed in 1866 as an on-site residence for the Adelaide Botanic Gardens’ head gardener. While the original architect has not been identified, it is understood that the cottage was constructed by builders Nimmo & McGee who may have had a hand in the building’s attractive design.
This building dates from a very significant period for the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, erected shortly after the commencement of the directorship of Richard Schomburgk in 1865. Responsible for many of the Adelaide Botanic Garden’s late 19th century icons, Schomburgk’s directorship coincided with a period of economic prosperity for South Australia, resulting in the large number of developments that occurred in the Botanical Gardens during this time. Strongly associated with the adjoining gateway, the construction of the North Lodge in 1866 coincided with the planting of Fig Tree Avenue and the consolidation of the Northern boundary the first of many important developments for the Gardens.
Architecturally, North Lodge presents as an important mid-19th century example of Victorian Rustic Gothic architecture in South Australia, retaining its original appearance and attractive asymmetrical design. In the late 20th century, the Lodge was used as a shop for the Friends of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens from approximately 1985 until 2006. Today the Lodge has become a hub for the activities of the Friends of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and an initial point of contact for visitors entering from the northern gateway, now known as the ‘Friend’s Gate’. GGA is currently working with the Gardens to refurbish and update the kitchen and wet areas at the rear of the building, to provide improved amenities for the Friends of the Botanic Garden. A temporary visitors’ information counter is also proposed to be installed, pending the construction of the new entry gate from Lot Fourteen.