Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dreamy homes

Even though we've only had our little house for about a year, my eye can't help wandering. I don't think I'm cut out to be a home monogamist. I have my eye on the mid-century places. Unlike federation-era houses, which people think are charming, there's still a risk that people will buy some modernist gem then rip its guts out. They need protecting, y'know?

I really hope that 8 Elimatta Way is bought by someone who doesn't want it for the "triplex development potential."

Floreat and City Beach are the places to find the grander 50s and 60s houses. Pity the public transport round that way is so lousy.

10 Orana Crescent was designed in 1969, so doesn't have that boxy airiness of the mid-century houses that are a bit fashionable right now. It's warmer, cosier. The slate flooring is to die for.

And 20 Leithdale Rd (not a mid-century place, but with the same feel - my guess is 80s, maybe?) has been a favourite of mine for a while. Really it's pretty much a dream home. It's been on the market for a few months now, and the price has dropped quite a bit. Of course, I still don't have $1.5 million to spend on a place that would really only be a weekender (what, you mean people commute from Darlington?! No! Not possible! I am becoming quite inner-city snob).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Living and dying in our little house

207 Young (a fantastic new blog about renovating a pre-federation house on the east coast of Australia) recently put me on to Trove, which is the digitised archives of the National Library of Australia. It has all kinds of old newspapers, scanned and text-searchable. It's truly amazing.

I'd actually been to Trove before, because there's some great old knitting patterns and stitch patterns on Ravelry that have been pulled from various old newspapers on Trove, but I hadn't though to search for my street address before!

Such good fun! On 21 November 1903 Mrs Cooper gave birth to a daughter at our house, while her husband was in Marble Bar. Poor old Mrs Macmillan held her mother's wake at our house in 1928, and her husband died (in our house) only three years later. Mrs Macmillan must have had some kids though, because Miss Ruby Macmillan won a crossword prize in 1932, a year after her father's death!

Curiously, though, our place is listed as being for rent in the middle of all of this, in 1929. I know that originally there were eight townhouses like ours on a single block, so perhaps some of the houses were sharing numbers? That would seem to make sense, as in October 1929 the property is listed as being "four rooms, conveniences," but only a month later a property at the same address is described as "6 rooms, cons, lawns, etc."

The four room property is listed as being "near running shed." I wonder what that means?