Monday, March 14, 2005

An Old Site re vitalised made me think of History

This Sunday just passed the 13th March 05 I saw an advertisement for a garden that was open to viewing by the public "The ad said "Old wharehouse now a lush indoor garden & residence".
So I travelled to an old inner Melbourne suburb for a look.
The building was an old brick factory built in 1890.
In those days it was a metal spring making factory,springs for everything that needed springs.
Then after WW2 part of it became a saw-tooth factory and then a place where "Men's & Youth's trousers were made.
But all changed and in 1990 is became a distribution wharehouse for men's suits made overseas in Tawian,Phillipines etc.
And then........ in 1999 a couple Pandora and John bought it and converted it into their home.
Pandora a teacher of Media Studies
John a cabinet maker of mainly re/cycled timber furniture
So this was a home/business/factory
The front part of the factory is a large indoor garden with half the original tin roof exposed to the sky.A large fish pond of Red Comets filled with exotic plants has at its centre an enormous stainless steel fountain 5 pieces each 20ft long.This fountain is run from 2 enormous(7000litre) rain water tanks beside the building by an electronic system
The garden around the pond has hundreds of rainforest and various plants suited to this site.Many in beautiful pots and urns with plenty of lovely seating to rest on while taking in the atmosphere.A timber boardwalk surrouns the pond and garden
The rear of the factory has their wonderful office with old leather couches and the back is the workshop filled with all sorts of recycled timber & machinery.The showroom has many pices of fine furniture in Australian timbers such as Kauri Blackwood,Sassafras,Celery Pine,Tasmanian Ash etc.
Upstairs are the living quarters of the family and by adding old recycled windows they have a wonderful view of the surrounding district of North Fitzroy.
It was revealed when stripping back the brick rendered walls beautiful blue stone bricks adding another dimension and thinking of those workers who lifted these massive heavy pieces of natural stone brought down from a country town in the the 1890's.
Very little cracking appears in this old building and on the outside facade the names of the factory's history has been retained.

I loved seeing and experiencing the conversion of this old wharehouse and admire those people loving a past and bringing it into the future to meet their needs
In the suburb where I live ,which is much older than where Pandora and John live were many buildings, hundreds in fact that have been raised to the ground and replaced with ugly concrete apartments with no relevance to the past not even the facade has been preserved ....I cry and mourn for Port Melbourne for it has been so cruely levelled in the name of profit and perhaps a need for some to live close the city and the sea.....Some use an expression "We are having a Sea Change" but at what cost one might ask. History is but a word.

So my Sunday out was inspiring making me think that those who retain the past and are able use it as the present and the future are to be admired.

Lois (Muse of the Sea) Monday 14th March'05


At 2:07 PM, Blogger Believer said...

Dear Lois,

As you do, I mourn the loss of history, the lack of space and nature. Tear it down, pave it over, put in another mall, rake in the money is the order of the day here in New Jersey,(USA)too.

Have you considered writing a column for your local paper? You've already got two articles looking at this from different points of view. You're looking back at the past in the first and showing what creative people can do in the second. I think you're on to something extraordinary. Keep up the great work!

At 4:51 AM, Blogger Angel said...

A little bit different then talking about the past but in a recent poem I had said that all the technology and progress of man cannot equal the feats of Mother Nature even on her worst day. When I left FL there were so many condominiums up where there used to be shoreline and a peaceful drive to see the sunset on a Sunday. now if you squint and peer really hard you may happen to see a tiny orange glint from in between a building crack or perhaps a reflection off of a million dollar window. I know and accept that as times move forward, progress does get made, (if it can truly be called progress,) and things do change, but where is that line. Even though there are so many condos there that you could tuck your children into bed and kiss them goodnight and then reach out the window and do the same to your neighbors kids next door, they are still planning to cram more in there. It's to the point where it's not a beautiful shoreline anymore, but an eyesore, and instead of being a representation of progress to me it is a representation of greed and the clear and insatiable desire of so many today to have more, to keep up with the Joneses and that bigger is better, no matter what the cost.
Thanks for sharing, Lois. Sounds like a wonderfully refreshing place to visit.

At 1:59 AM, Blogger Lois said...

Hi Believer,
Well to get a column in my local paper means I have to write nice things all the time about our Local and State Governments and I would find that I would be telling lots and lots of untruths,balanced agaist the good the bad outweigh them when it comes to development.
I will get a chance this Monday 28th March when our newly elected female ward councillor gives a talk on her first 6 months in the job.I have a short list of questions for her ,including the planning approvals in her ward some of which are horrendous.....

Yes Angel,
In my old home town we have apartments just like the ones you describe in your email,where you can put out your hand and nearly touch the next building or windows in the next house that look into your back
yard.When you say FL does that mean Florida ?..
Yes greed is the word and also what they call a sea change with people wanting to live by the sea and near the city and cafes and theatres etc etc
Without greenery around them is to me destroying a part of the creative soul in us ,I think we need this...Thanks to you both for your replies and kind thoughts.....
Someone said to me a few weeks ago that perhaps I am living in the past and need to move on,but I said that if moving on meant destroying the past and all that it has meant then no thanks......Love Lois(Muse of the Sea)

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Believer said...

Hi Lois,

No little free papers around with alternate opinions? Pity. I do hope you have your say Monday. I understand about local politics. Power, as they say, corrupts.

It is amazing to me that people are so short sighted. Do they give any thought at all to the generations coming after them and the world they're leaving?

Sorry, but this is a "soap box" issue with me. Love your writing, though, please keep it coming, and good luck.


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