News & Events
Help us restore heritage facades
August 17, 2016
Rushall Park’s distinctive chimneys are getting a much-needed facelift, along with the facades of up to 90 heritage homes throughout the North Fitzroy village.
Costing around $2,000 per home, the first 33 houses to be restored are in Coppin Avenue, the oldest street within the heritage-listed village.
Damian Pennington, OCAV’s Property Manager, said the work included water-proofing and restoring the façade arcades, as well as remedial work on the historically significant chimneys.
“We are working towards having the restoration completed in time to celebrate the association’s 150th anniversary in 2019,” said Mr Pennington.
The association is applying to Heritage Victoria for funding but is also calling for community donations.
“Except for two cottages funded by the association itself, all the original bluestone houses in Rushall Park were built with funds donated by prominent Victorians,” said Mr Pennington.
“Any donor contributing to this restoration will be ensuring a legacy for the future, just as Victoria’s founding fathers did almost 150 years ago.”
Actor, philanthropist and entrepreneur George Coppin established the village in 1869 to provide accommodation for elderly colonists who, through no fault of their own, had fallen on hard times. Each original building is marked by a memorial stone showing the date and donor.
According to Heritage Victoria, the Old Colonists’ homes are of historical significance as an early and remarkably intact example of the provision of housing for the aged in Victoria; for their association with George Coppin and other notable Victorians who donated cottages to the complex; and for their links with Victoria’s earliest years.
According to Phillip Wohlers, OCAV’s CEO, Rushall Park is an important example of the development of philanthropic welfare facilities at a time when governments provided few or no such services.
“The village is similar to the almshouses in the UK, each house with its own garden as well as communal gardens throughout the complex. It remains much the same today although new building styles have been incorporated into the village over the years, ” he said.