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THIS OLD HOUSE

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Julie Brady Convener of the Educating Group and Botanikids, with her charges, happy to have the Gatekeepers Cottage on site in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.

Historic Gatekeepers Cottage returns to Ballarat Botanical Gardens ON Tuesday the Historic Gatekeepers Cottage was trucked back to its original location at Ballarat Botanical Gardens after more than 85 years situated at 1414 Gregory Street. City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh said the relocation of the historical house was an exciting day for Ballarat. “Many of our community have really been working and lobbying to have a unanimous support of this council, to know that the Friends of the Gardens have such a wonderful plan for the future for our young children’s training facility,” she said.

“We know it’s the right thing to do, this year being 160 years of celebrating our Botanical Gardens, is the ideal time for us to be moving the gatekeeper’s cottage back into its home grounds. “This has been an exceptionally difficult task. The previous council did approve to have it demolished – I was obviously very concerned about that given there were to heritage reports stating very clearly and strongly the significance of the cottage, where it should be in its home in the Botanical Gardens and I think the exciting thing today is its happening.” While the cottage may look dilapidated its structure is solid and should last another 100 years.

“As untidy as it looks, once it gets its roof back on, it will be refurbished, it will be restored and it will look spectacular in the Gardens,” Cr McIntosh said. “The Friends of the Ballarat Gardens have been working very closely with us to try and secure this and one of our local residents gifted the money for the removal. “I would love to see an all of community approach given its for the gardens, it’s our future.”

Maldon Architect Andrew Fedorowicz has been working on the project for about 5 months.

In that time he has documented everything on the house and arranged for the lifting of the house and getting it ready for transport. “Heritage Victoria was involved in granting permission for the relocation, and land surveyors did the survey of the site and we put where the building was to go,” he said. “I love the house, I love everything with heritage value and it should be retained.

The decay in the house, in areas, is quite bad, in other areas its fine but the structure generally is quite okay. “You can see some of the weatherboards are decayed and over time they have used different varieties of weatherboards and different timbers – some are hardwood, some are pine, some are round edged, some are square edged and they all have to brought back to be the same over the entire house.”