Architect Personal DetailsArchitectural works in South Australia
Firms or Professional PartnershipsBibliographic Sources

Architect Personal Details



First name

Henry Evan








Henry Evan Sibley was born in Middlesex, England on 1 July 1867, the son of Nicholls Joseph Sibley, a civil engineer. The family migrated to Australia in 1879, when Henry was twelve, aboard the Aconcagua and settled in South Australia. Harry, as he was known, attended Prince Alfred College at Kent Town for his schooling and was subsequently articled to Adelaide architect Frederick W. Dancker.

On 30 December 1890 Harry married Helen Jane Anderson McKechnie at Christ Church, North Adelaide, with whom he had ten children, five sons and five daughters. They lived at Norwood. He died on 20 January 1917 aged only 49 years and was buried at North Road Cemetery, Collinswood. His wife lived until she was 82, passing away in 1955.

On 28 September 1902 Sibley, then aged 35, entered into an architectural partnership with Daniel Garlick. However Garlick died, aged 84, eight days later. The partnership was known as Garlick and Sibley. Notification of the firm’s formation appeared in the Register newspaper, 29 September 1902, on the same day as Garlick’s funeral notice. Sibley continued the business as Garlick & Sibley (Lapins 1982) until 1904 when he took Charles W. Wooldridge as a partner and the partnership became known as Garlick, Sibley and Wooldridge. In 1910 they dropped the name Garlick and continued as Sibley and Wooldridge until 1 July 1912 when Wooldridge left the partnership (‘Dissolution of Partnership’ 1912) and Sibley practised solely again until his death in 1917.

The partnership of Garlick, Sibley and Wooldridge designed two stone pedestals for significant Adelaide statues. The Boer War Memorial on the north east corner of the intersection between North Terrace and King William Street, Adelaide was unveiled in June 1904 with the pedestal, designed by Garlick, Sibley and Wooldridge, supporting a life size bronze horse and rider sculpture (Masterpiece in Bronze’ 1904). Garlick, Sibley and Wooldridge also designed the pedestal for the Colonel Light statue, which was unveiled in November 1906.

Garlick, Sibley and Wooldridge designed many smaller projects including a pair of semi-detached homes at Stepney in 1907 (‘Tenders and Contracts’1907: 2), a residence at Glenelg in 1908 (‘Tenders and Contracts’ 1908: 2), and business premises for E.A. Dobbie and Co. at Petersburg (Peterborough) also in 1908 (‘Tenders and Contracts’ 1908: 2). The partnership designed a residence at One Tree Hill near Smithfield in 1909 (‘Tenders and Contracts’ 1909: 2) for E.A. Kelly called 'Yelki' (PRG 865/5 SLSA). In 1910 they designed four cottages and a shop at Mile End, and a balcony to the Sturt Arcade Hotel for Mrs E. Lean (‘Tenders and Contracts’ 1910: 7).

The proposal for cottage homes for the elderly in danger of becoming destitute was first proposed by Archdeacon Marryat in 1872 and the scheme continued into the twentieth century (Manning Index). The Scarfe Cottage Homes, Gertrude St, Norwood were designed as part of a competition held in 1905 and won by Garlick, Sibley and Wooldridge. They were to be used by ‘indigent literary and commercial men over the age of 65’ (‘The Scarfe Homes’ 1905). Comprising four semi detached double fronted cottages and two single ones, each cottage was designed with a back and front verandah and garden areas. The floor plans included a living room with a bay opening off of it, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom situated off the bedroom.

The Wallaroo Mines Institute Hall in country South Australia was designed by the partnership of Garlick, Sibley and Wooldridge in 1906 (‘Wallaroo Mines Institute’ 1906). In the same year they designed Unley Town Hall, with the construction supervised by fellow Adelaide architect F.W. Dancker, to whom Sibley had previously been articled. Garlick, Sibley and Wooldridge and F.W. Dancker had entered the competition for Unley Town Hall as joint architects (‘The Proposed New Unley Town Hall’ 1906). On its opening the works were described as having converted the old hall ‘into much needed municipal offices’ with the present building made ‘capable of holding an audience of 1,230’ (Unley City Hall Opening Ceremony’ 1907). The practice also designed buildings interstate including the large commission of the Mildura Workingman’s Club in Mildura, Victoria in 1908. This building included a 68 foot by 42 foot billiard room as well as a 55 foot by 34 foot bar room (‘Mildura Workingman’s Club’ 1908).

Sibley and Wooldridge worked on the Hackney tram barn and administrative offices for the Municipal Tramways Trust (MTT) in 1908. These buildings comprised an administrative block and car depot as well as two foreman’s residences, sheds, and bicycle shelters and were situated on the eastern edge of the Botanic Gardens. Philip Claridge gained employment in the office during this period. Other works for the same client included a bandstand, kiosk and shops at Henley Beach (‘Henley Beach Improvements’ 1911).

Classical style two-storeyed Railway Offices were designed in 1911 by Sibley and Wooldridge but remained unbuilt (‘The New Railway Offices’ 1911). Also in 1911 the practice designed a three storey building on Charles Street, Adelaide which was let to manufacturers agents (‘Another Big City Building’ 1911) as well as renovations to Messrs Burford and Sons factory on Sturt Street, Adelaide (‘Tenders and Contracts’ 1911: 12). In April 1912 the practice called for tenders for a pair of shops at Port Adelaide (‘Tenders and Contracts’ 1912: 7).

Following the dissolution of his partnership with Wooldridge, Sibley continued to work for another five years. During this time tenders notices indicate that he carried out alterations and additions to the Walkerville Co-operative Brewing Company at Southwark in 1914 (‘Tenders and Contracts’ 1914: 2). Sibley was a member of the Adelaide Democratic Club Inc. an organisation which ‘paved the way for the formation of the Labor Party’ (‘Adelaide Democratic Club’ 1915: 13). He designed the three storey Democratic Club premises, Market St, Adelaide in 1915. The ground floor comprised the secretary’s office, bar, and billiard room, while the first floor housed the library, dining hall, supper room and kitchen, and the top floor held the stewards quarters and ‘a flat roof with skylights to light the ball room’ (Adelaide Democratic Club’ 1915: 13).

Julie Collins

Citation details
Collins, Julie, ‘Sibley, Henry Evan’, Architecture Museum, University of South Australia, 2013, Architects of South Australia: []




Architectural works in South Australia

Name Suburb Year Designed
Yelki One Tree Hill 1909
Scarfe Cottage Homes Norwood 1905
Unley Town Hall additions Unley 1906
Hackney Tram Barn and Offices Adelaide 1908
Adelaide Democratic Club Adelaide 1915

Firms or Professional Partnerships

Name Dates Worked
Garlick and Sibley 1902-1904 
Garlick, Sibley and Wooldridge 1904-1910 
Sibley and Wooldridge 1910-1912 
H.E. Sibley 1912-1917 

Bibliographic Sources


(1909) The Tramways of Adelaide, past, present, and future: a complete illustrated and historical souvenir of the Adelaide tramways from the inception of the horse trams to the inauguration of the present magnificent electric trolley car system, The Critic, Adelaide, held at State Library of South Australia.

‘Activity in the Building Trade’, Advertiser, 7 January 1908: 6.
‘Adelaide Democratic Club – Laying the Foundation Stone’, Advertiser, 5 April 1915: 13.
‘Another Big City Building’, Advertiser, 13 January 1911: 6.
‘Colonel Light Statue’, Advertiser, 31 October 1905: 4.
‘Deaths’, Advertiser, 22 January 1917.
‘Henley Beach Improvements’, Advertiser, 13 January 1911: 6.
‘Masterpiece in Bronze’, Advertiser, 26 May 1904: 4.
‘New Railway Offices’, Advertiser, 6 April 1911: 6.
‘Obituary’, Register, 25 January 1917: 4g.
‘Public Notices – Dissolution of Partnership’, Advertiser, 24 June 1912: 12.
‘Public Notices’, Register, 29 September 1902.
‘Tenders and Contracts’, Advertiser, 1 November 1907: 2.
‘Tenders and Contracts’, Advertiser, 7 March 1908: 2.
‘Tenders and Contracts’, Advertiser, 24 October 1908: 2.
‘Tenders and Contracts’, Advertiser, 13 February 1909: 2.
‘Tenders and Contracts’, Advertiser, 13 September 1910: 7.
‘Tenders and Contracts’, Advertiser, 23 September 1911: 12.
‘Tenders and Contracts’, Advertiser, 30 April 1912: 7.
‘Tenders and Contracts’, Advertiser, 1 May 1914: 2.
‘The Colonel Light Statue Unveiling Ceremony’, Advertiser, 28 November 1906: 7.
‘The Proposed New Unley Town Hall’, Advertiser, 28 August 1906: 8.
‘The Scarfe Homes’, Advertiser, 24 October 1905: 4.
‘Unley City Hall – Opening Ceremony’, Advertiser, 15 August 1907: 9.
‘Unley City Hall’, Advertiser, 5 August 1907.
‘Wallaroo Mines Institute’, Advertiser, 25 July 1906: 8.

Lapins, R. (1982) ‘Daniel Garlick; 20 January 1818 - 28 September 1902: biography of a pioneer Adelaide architect’, student report, South Australian Institute of Technology, held at University of South Australia Library.

Portrait of H.E. Sibley, 1900, Portrait of H.E. Sibley, one in a composite of 36 photographs of past members and officers of the Adelaide Democratic Club Inc., State Library of South Australia, Image B12166/7.

Plan by Garlick, Sibley & Wooldridge, AMP Building, Adelaide for E.A. Kelly's residence 'Yelki' at One Tree Hill near Smithfield (photographic copy made 1988). Included is a copy of a photograph of the residence taken from the front garden, ca.1908, State Library of South Australia. PRG 865/5.

Manning Index 1837-1937 newspapers, State Library of South Australia online at
Australian Newspapers Digitisation Project, National Library of Australia online at

Willis, J. (1998) South Australian Architects Biography Project CD Rom, Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia, AM

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