Andrew Ross from No Visible Means Marketing and Communications recently published this post about Open House Hobart. I have attended it once and it is a fascinating event where you get to peek into buildings that are not normally open to the public. We have some really interesting buildings around Hobart.
I thought that one of the neighbours at the back of my house must be getting some work done recently, there have been diggers there and one day, a cement mixer. Then last Friday I noticed a huge crane had arrived. It appears I am getting a new neighbour. The crane was lifting a house into place.
The houses directly at the back of me are all transportable homes and were put in about ten years ago now I think. The former owner of the land built this small subdivision consisting of six or eight house blocks behind us, built an access road, and we watched as fences went up and the houses arrived. Up until that time we had an old post and rail fence separating us from the empty paddocks. The developer discovered that part of our land belonged to him, there are a lot of dodgy property lines in Tasmania. We had to lose a couple of metres but he did not ask us to pay half the cost of the new fence so it didn’t work out too badly for us. I was happy to have a more secure fence and happy it was high enough that I could not see much of the ugly houses when they arrived. Honestly, the one directly at the back of me has to be one of the ugliest transportable houses I have ever seen.
The Scene in 2009
I looked into the back yard soon after the crane arrived and realised that they were getting ready to lift the new house of the truck it had arrived on. I had plenty of time to get the camera.
I watched as the crane operators attached cables to the house and lifted it high to swing it into position.
I know it was the angle I was viewing from but it honestly looked as if the swinging house was going to hit the one next door to it.
Finally, the house was lowered into what seemed to be an odd position, slightly at an angle to its neighbours. Now it just has to be connected to services and the owners can move in.
Now something I do not accept as art is graffiti. I hate seeing paint plastered over the sides of buildings, under bridges, on buses and trains, at railway stations and so on. People try to defend it saying it is street art. Vandalism is not art and there is no place for it in society.
I was in New Norfolk recently and we came across the back of this building which had been painted probably by an artist with these colourful murals. I was very taken with it and thought it looked fantastic. I expect they were having trouble with graffiti artists messing up the back of their business and got sick of cleaning it up. It would be a great shame if someone messed this up. I would much rather see this than so called street art everywhere. This is much better than the boring grey besser blocks too.
This song by V Spy V Spy was released in 1986 and I relate to it, even more, today than I did then. It makes me both sad and angry when fine old buildings are knocked down only to be replaced by ugly concrete stacks especially when those stacks are so badly built that people can’t live in them as has happened in two recent cases in Sydney. It makes me mad when people are made homeless because a stupid reality show buys the boarding house where they lived to refurbish but not as public housing; or when the refurbishing is just a token saving of a facade. Our cities are losing their character forever. This song is a musical rant about that.
Even as a child I loved to look at houses. I remember walking around my neighbourhood and looking at the different types of houses and gardens and thinking about which one I’d like to have. The houses in South Australia were very different from the ones I knew in England. In the sixties it was mostly what mum called “bungalows” and every house was brick or the new fangled brick veneer that was becoming popular. In my suburb, which was fairly new there was not a lot of weatherboard or fibro. I recall how when we first went to Melbourne we were fascinated to see so many weatherboard houses. I liked them. I like all kinds of houses though, the Georgian houses in Oatlands and other older towns, Edwardian villas, California bungalows, art deco. Pretty much anything built before 1970 has some interest for me. The first picture in this collection is an old bank on Murray St, Hobart which is now a private residence. The red awnings caused a lot of controversies when the residents put them up as the council did not like them but in the end, they were allowed to stay. I’ve left them red to commemorate all the fuss.
I am not really comfortable photographing suburban houses though in case the owners don’t like it. Occasionally I do if they are in a historic area or I find them especially interesting. With so many lovely old homes being demolished to make way for ugly apartment blocks and Mc Mansions I feel I want to preserve some of the memories. We have some lovely art deco buildings around the Hobart CBD and nearby Sandy Bay, here is one of them. The other is another interesting old home on Sandy Bay Road.
Naomi’s home town of Oatlands has many interesting old buildings from the early to mid-1800s. Blossom’s Cottages are now tourist accommodation. The stork on its nest is a sculpture. In stark contrast some very ugly townhouses built on the banks of the Port River, Port Adelaide.
Finally an apartment block in Little India, Singapore. There are many of these all over Singapore. I would hate to live in something like this.
I lived in the suburbs of Adelaide for most of my life. Since we moved in 2002 I’ve only been back a handful of times. When I did go I often photographed places in the city, mainly because I was fearful that they might not be there or would be changed beyond recognition the next time I visited. These photos were taken in 2011, 2012 and 2016.
When we visited in 2011 and again in 2012 there was a lot of construction going on in the city. John Martin’s department store had already been demolished and Harris Scarfe’s store was about to follow.
On my last visit in 2016, I chose not to visit Rundle Mall and instead spent time around Elder Park, the Festival Centre and Adelaide Oval. Adelaide Oval had just been redeveloped and since I was there they are now “improving” the Festival Centre.