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Ebor Headquarters at Mile End

Doomed villa's rebirth as a computing business

From The Weekly Times (local paper) 7 July 1999, by Charmaine Newton

An historic Mile End villa threatened with demolition last year has been restored to its former glory.
The former Alfred James & Sons funeral parlor, on Henley Beach Rd, has been converted into commercial offices by a computing company – with the transformation officially reopened last week.
The past 12 months has seen much planning and then renovating including removing white ant damage, rewiring and repainting.

Co-owner Elizabeth Cumpston said an old stable to the rear of the villa had also been restored and converted into conference/meeting rooms.

It was opened by Hindmarsh MHR Chris Gallus last Friday, June 25.

The villa has been described as the most beautiful building in the Thebarton area – it was earmarked for demolition last year when the former funeral parlor owners tried to sell it.

Alfred James & Sons, who had occupied the villa for about 40 years, applied for demolition approval to make the property more attractive to potential buyers.

West Torrens Council wanted to block the demolition application but was forced to grant approval, because it met the council's guidelines and the historic villa was not heritage-listed. There were several interested buyers with more than one party planning to demolish the villa.

The Cumpstons bought the villa for $420,000, after being advised by architects that converting it into office would be possible.

Mrs Cumpston said she lived close to the 10-room villa and had often admired the building.

'We were devastated with the thought of it being possibly bulldozed down ... we have a similar villa-style house ourselves,' Mrs Cumpston said. 'It was such a lovely old building'.

The villa was built in the early 1900s and bought by the Cumpstons last August.

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