It’s 2020 and we’re excited to get stuck into constructing Barry House! Since our last post we have been working with James O’Brian and the O’Brian family as well as Moreland Council to research the history of the home. It’s been amazing reading the stories about the house from James O’Brian, one of the four remaining children of the O’Brian family. The O’Brian’s are thrilled that the house is being restored as it is a home of many family memories with a rich and special history. It’s in their honour we have decided to name the house after their family: O’Brian house. They were most chuffed about that! We also learned about the O’Brian sister’s laneway across the road which is named in honour of 3 of the sisters who worked in the Brickworks many years ago.
Pictured above: The O'Brian's and their 16 children, one child not pictured.
We talked about the Hoffman’s Brickworks across the road from the house in a previous post. Since then we have discovered some new information. In 1863 the Hoffman’s Brickworks was the largest brickworks in Brunswick. Now this unique, colourful project incorporates all of the heritage atmosphere with mews-style residences, warehouse style apartments with lofty ceilings and exposed beams, underground parking and three storey townhouses. The heritage precinct, incorporating heritage-listed kilns and buildings, will be converted to offices and an arts precinct as well as urban conservation areas.
The redevelopment now includes 30 of the operating kilns now converted to town houses. To read more about the history of the brickworks and ultimately its closure, read on here: http://www.asha.org.au/pdf/australasian_historical_archaeology/07_04_Stuart.pdf
Pictured above: Concept design of the brickworks development in Brunswick.
We have come across some treasures in the house too including a stained-glass cabinet and some armchairs we are working on restoring. There were also some fireplaces and ceiling roses in the house that we are going to use in the building process as well as some Hoffman bricks which will feature in our front pathway.
We tracked down an original clawfoot bathtub in Bendigo which had been in the same family for over 90 years! We will be using a local service provider to resurface our beautiful tub and restore its unique chrome feet. Vicky dreams of soaking in this tub in their new home. But in the mean time she has tested it out in the backyard!
Our favourite new purchase so far had to be the sensor tap for the kitchen. It just makes so much sense especially for a family that loves to cook like ours. In terms of purchasing fixtures and fittings we are focused on tracking down the tapware and lights we want to use in our home. These will be the first items required for the rough in during the construction process.
We are currently awaiting round two of feedback from council for the planning permit. We have been advised there may be an issue with our Dawson Street side atrium conflicting with the requirements of the heritage overlay, though we wait in hope that we can work around this. Our next task is to finalise our research and preferred approach to solar power. We are exploring options available and considering what will best meet our family’s needs. We’ve been Inspired by our new neighbour Peter who hasn’t paid a power bill in 5+ years!
We shared in our last post that we would be having our first filming session of our building journey. What an experience! We filmed for most of the day and were intrigued by the process. It seems that to get a short clip of only a few minutes, so many takes are required and then in post-production it is whittled down to what you see on television. A time consuming, but exciting and interesting process so far! Our next filming days are the 29th and 30th of January.