It’s not often that Bendigo residentsenjoy the privilege of living in a property designed by distinguished architectsfrom yesteryear, however currently listed on the rental market is a house that was designed by a couple of the city’s most notable names and played host to a range of community happenings.
The property at 110 McKenzie Street harks backto the heady days of the quartz gold mining boom, whichtransformed Bendigofrom a modestmining town to a blossoming city that became home to migrant architects, builders and craftsmen,such asWilliam Carl Vahland andWilliam Beebe Snr.
SITTING PRETTY: Sitting on an elevated block with glorious views of the city, the McKenzie Street property looks out to another of Bendigo’s historical buildings, the iconic Sacred Heart Cathedral.
According to Department of Environment and Primary Industries records, German-born Vahland worked in the northern German baroque revival style, with the aim of creatinga “Vienna of the south”. He designed more than 100 buildings, notably Bendigo’s Town Hall, Capital Theatre and Fortuna Villa.
An English stonemason,Beebe spent 20 years buildinghis own family a sandstone and granitehouse, christened Rocky Vale, in Maiden Gully in the 1870s. His son, William Beebe Jr also became a noted architect, designing numerous buildings in Bendigo.
Both Vahland and Beebe Snr were involved in the creation of this historicresidence, one ofthe earliest buildings of itstime. In 1857 a Lutheran school – a separate building to thisresidence buton the same grounds –was designed and builtby Vahland, while this house was built for its German Lutheran pastor and his family, and acted as a manse and church. It was used fora range of pastoral activities, including weddings and christenings in the formal room at the front of the house.
The current owner estimates to have hadthe housefor between 35 to40 years. She purchased it from nearby Girton College, which was then owned by the Church of England and housed studentborders and the music department/administration space.
While the four-bedroom home has been fully renovated, many of the property’s historical attributes remain, a quality that’s rare to find in buildings on Bendigo’srental market. Inside are 4.5 metre high ceilings and generous-sized rooms, while outside displaysthelocally quarried sandstone, hipped roofs andchimneys, windows, doors,verandahs and posts all typical of buildings from this era.
There’s also a large stacked-stone cellar, which isaccessable viaa staircase, and a most novel entertaining space arguably not afforded to manyrenters.
Inside are all the mod cons you’d expect to find in a 21st century home –think polished floorboards, contemporary fitouts in the two bathroomsand reverse cyle airconditioning.
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