Eric Milton Nicholls was born in Victoria in 1902.
He began his architectural career at a very early age, in 1916 and
five years later joined the practice of Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin.
His calm leadership style and architectural talent so impressed the Griffins
that when they first moved to Castlecrag in 1925
they left Nicholls in charge of the Melbourne office.
In 1929, Griffin initiated a formal partnership with Nicholls to design industrial buildings in residential neighbourhoods for the Reverbatory Incinerator & Engineering Company
and later that year Nicholls transferred to Castlecrag with his family.
Following Walter Griffin’s departure for India in 1935,
Nicholls assumed responsibility for the Greater Sydney Development Association
and designed a number of houses in Castlecrag and Willoughby,
many of them featuring a sandstone pillar style.
The Moriaty House he designed in 1940 for Stan Moriaty
at 215 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag, is regarded as his best residential work.
He also designed a number of commercial and public buildings,
including the Albert Chownie Memorial Hall in Willoughby Park and
the Castlecrag Community Centre and Library.
He also donated his time as honorary architect
to the Castlecrag Community Hall, Kindergarten and Library.
Two of his most well-known designs were office buildings in the Sydney CBD, Caltex House and Local Government House.
Later on in life Nicholls devoted his time and money to a venture in Thredbo,
as well as building and establishing Glenaeon Schools in Pymble and Middle Cove.
Nicholls continued to live in Castlecrag until his death in 1965.