The White House
Contained within the Register of the National Estate, Hobart City Council and Battery Point listings of classified Historic Buildings and that of the National Trust (Tasmania), 11 Napoleon Street is set above the oldest shipyards in Hobart. The property is an example of a Hobart ‘town house’ and conceived of as a smartly fashionable Georgian ‘marine villa’, c 1838, with dressed stone walls to three sides and an iron gate from the old Hobart gaol gallows. The remaining sandstone random rubble boundary walls also form part of the neighbouring property Oakington, the pair to The White House. The walls originally defined the larger property area containing number 2 Sloane Street, which is situated above The White House. The garage area was originally a stable.
The land on which The White House is situated was granted to Governor William Sorell in 1819, and was gradually sold off. In 1831 James Sloane arrived in Hobart and was granted the land where The White House now stands. Captain Moriarty confiscated some of this land because Sloane had failed to build a house on it. Moriaty subsequently built 2 Sloane Street.
Between 1838 and 1840, Sloane built The White House and Oakington and lived in the former for almost nine years. In 1849, The White House was granted to John Watson, a famous Hobart shipbuilder, whaler, timber merchant and ship owner. Over the years, The White House has been owned and inhabited by a Who’s Who of colonial society, including Edward Winch (architect), Charles Seal (pastoralist, ship owner, whaler), George Crouch (Hobart Mayor) and Phyllis Benjamin (Tasmania’s third woman Legislative Councillor and leader of government in Upper House).