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First explored by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1788, this suburb on Sydney's north shore is one of two suburbs in the area named by Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell in honour of his friend Sir James Willoughby Gordon who had served with him the Peninsula War. Like many areas on the north shore, Gordon was home to an impressive timber forest which had loggers move into the area in the 1820s. Timber getting would remain the primary industry in Gordon until the 1840s when the cleared land saw orchardists and market gardeners move into the area.
With the Hornsby railway line extended through Gordon in 1890, the suburb would become the most populated suburb on the north shore with smaller residential subdivisions of the land created in the streets surrounding the railway station. Some of the areas grandest examples of architecture in Gordon date back to this period of great prosperity. These include the Gothic revival style of the Gordon Public School and St John’s Anglican Church built in the late 1800s and grand residential houses such as Eryldene and Tulkiyan in the early 1900s. Despite its extensive and rambling gardens, the distinctly modest house Eryldene was designed by prominent Sydney architect William Hardy Wilson in 1913. Unlike the heavier Georgian style of housing which in its mirroring of English and European architecture was a popular choice at the time, Wilson designed Eryldene with a view to create a house which seemed better suited to the mild Australian climate.
The residential boom period of the 1950s saw many of the larger residential blocks subdivided and despite some medium and high density developments around the station, single houses proved the most popular choice for residents choosing to build in the suburb. Over the following years neighbouring St Ives would overtake Gordon as the areas commercial centre and having had only minor redevelopment in the past 50 years, Gordon has managed to retain much of its heritage charm. Well serviced by public transport and close to schools and shopping precincts, the suburb remains a favourite with educated professionals and their families.