Hooray - Happy Birthday House!
The big weekend has finally rolled around. We Fitzroy residents/researchers have turned revellers to salute some of our suburb's oldest buildings, beneath the banner: Happy Birthday House! Of course every celebration needs a party and no party is complete without balloons, so I made sure I collected mine from the hallowed steps of the Fitzroy Town Hall first thing yesterday. And as I look out the window now, I can see them tied to the front gate whipping about in the breeze.
|With 'Jolly Jo' and Tom Keel of the Fitzroy Residents' Association at Fitzroy Town Hall|
Apparently, the city elders settled on the site simply because they could get it for free. Perhaps they intended one day to move elsewhere, but that never happened. But, as far as I'm concerned, it couldn't be better placed.
|These three 'One-up, One-down'ers at numbers 4,6 & 8 Moor Street were built in 1851|
Rather than being built of solid bluestone like the one-up, one-downers, the house located at 42 Moor Street was made from corrugated iron, that 'wonder material' of the 19th century. Instead of being built to last, it was designed to be dismantled and portable. Rather than being made on site by local tradesman, the iron house was pre-fabricated probably in Manchester, England, packed in a wooden crate and transported to Australia by ship.
Lucky for us, 'Bellhouse' was rescued from demolition by the National Trust, and you can visit it, as I did, at 399 Coventry Street, South Melbourne.
|Bellhouse - believed to be the only remaining example of the work of Edward T Bellhouse|
|Glass Terrace Gertrude Street - Celebrating its 159th Birthday any day now|
You might have noticed that, because I always drop everything for a party, I haven't fulfilled my promise to tell you more about the seedier side of old Fitzroy. And especially the tale of the Obscene Demands of Docile Young Woman.
But watch this spot.