My grandfathers house, Balwyn, late 40s

The house my grandfather built in the late 40s on the corner of Percy and Gordon Street, #Balwyn – much smaller than I remember! Takes up so little of the block. Pretty sure there were far more trees, it looks rather sad. Nice combo of vaguely Georgian and Modern. I remember having windows that went so low was a bit radical. Lounge dining to the left, main bed in the right. One bathroom. Very neat. They had great pull down stripy blinds, now there’s nothing. The woodwork was a bright 50s blue, the garage blue and white chequerboard. The high timber ‘back garden’ fence with rescued cast-iron panels he put up in the 70s still there. But no trees at all. The street used to be all small interwar brick villas or timber cal bungs, hardly any left, the one right across the street is another Tuscan/French/Georgian just built where I think my German relatives lived, their son married my mothers sister (and the mothers in law did not get along !). Many get together with the cousins here. My grandfather died 1977, and grandma lived here till her stroke in 1986.

I’ve got interior photos mum took in 1988 after my grandmother went into a nursing home – my aunt has just written up her memories growing up there in the 1950s, and it was still pretty much still just as she described it, down to the radio and canisters on the kitchen shelf. And while nearly all the bungalows around it have been replaced by horridly pretentious mini French chateaux, it’s still there.

And a photo mum took c1956

Oh I see now it was all white originally- wonder when they added the blue?

I’ve got the original blueprints, which mum kept ! By architect Vincent Ward, of 422 Collins Street, dated Nov 1946. I’ve redrawn the plan to make it clearer. It was modest, vaguely Georgian, big garden, with sort of grand entry stairs.

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