City of Greater GeelongDr David Rowe, B.A. Arts (Arch), B.Arch (Hons), PhD (Arch), M.ICOMOS, is Director of Authentic Heritage Services Pty Ltd. He has 17 years experience in the heritage industry and his work includes many heritage reports, municipal heritage studies and conservation management plans and he is the Heritage Advisor at the City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire.
He has an interest is Commonwealth Government architecture, having completed a PhD on Australia's First Commonwealth Architect, J.S. Murdoch. David also prepares and presents vocational courses on heritage and conservation as part of the Department of Planning & Community Development's PLANET program.
Fences are an integral feature of many residential conservation areas. Building a new fence in a heritage precinct or around a heritage place is often an exercise in accommodating a new sympathetic design in a heritage streetscape.
The owners of this Federation style house in Drumcondra (right) were fortunate that historical photos were available to use as a reference to re-create this beautifully detailed wooden picket fence.
The result is a fence that enhances the character of this heritage home and the local area.
Heritage tip: Places to look for historical photos include your Council library's local studies collection, the local historical society or even previous owners.
Heritage advisors can assist in the search for historical photos and give advice on how appropriate a reconstruction is for your heritage place.
Reinstating a shop verandah
The owner wanted to improve the external appearance of this Federation style commercial building. No historical information specific to this building could be found. Instead, reference was made to the Geelong Verandah Study which included a range of photos of similarly designed buildings in the local area.
The result was a return post-supported verandah in the style of late 19th and early 20th century standard verandahs common to Geelong.
The key to reinstating a more original paint scheme to this Federation style commercial building would have been removing the paint. Cost constraints, and the large expenditure on the verandah, meant the chemical removal of the paint was not a priority for this stage of the building's restoration.
Instead, a paint scheme which simulated an unpainted finish was employed.
While not being true to the original paint scheme, the compromise does give an overall sense of how the building would have looked. The new colour scheme makes a more positive contribution to the streetscape than the previous stark white paint scheme, which was not typical of the local shops.
Heritage tip: to identify paint schemes that originally would have been used on the heritage buildings, historical photos, even when they are black and white, can be used to determine what was and wasn't painted and the various tonal highlights on the architectural features.
Restoring a weatherboard cottage
This Edwardian style cottage in Geelong West had lost some of its architectural detailing with years of wear and tear. Historical photographs sourced from a helpful neighbour and the Geelong West Conservation Study, allowed the verandah to be faithfully reconstructed.
The restored and painted weatherboards bring the tired building back to life, while the reconstructed timber fretwork on the verandah returns some of the elegance.
Heritage tip: where historical photos are not available,neighbouring properties in original condition can give a strong indication of the style and appropriateness of reconstructing architectural details on heritage buildings.