07 March 2011

39 Barry Street, Brunswick, VIC, Australia

The Barry Street frontage.
OK, this house is one of the reasons why this blog exists. It raises so many questions, though most of them are permutations on "how the fuck did this even happen?!", and if anybody out there can sate our curiosity, we'd be most delighted. Because holy shit, we had to look twice (or three times) when we first saw it just to believe it was real.

Dawson St side, seen through gigantic fence gap.
Let's go through the more minor points first. What colour was this house originally? White? Cream? Light brown? Something in between? Or a tasteful flourescent pink? Your guess is as good as mine! The paint has flaked so incredibly much that it's hard to tell; just look at the Dawson Street side (at right) and it's more the colour of mud and mushrooms due to the paint having worn away to an incredible extreme. And how about that fence? It's not fencing in much any more, that's for certain. On both the Dawson and Barry Street frontages, it is collapsing, splintered, and missing legs. You can stroll into the back yard effortlessly; there is such a large gap in the fence that you needn't duck or dodge anything. Never mind the rusty nails poking out too. And how about the drainpipe? Snapped and broken.  The lawn? Mow your lawn! Though we've actually seen worse lawn at occupied properties; not quite sure what to make of this.

Click for a large copy to see how warped the southern (left) wall is.
Now for the major point. The house has lost its structural integrity! Look at it: one half of the house is visibly and alarmingly slumping and subsiding. Check out the windows, which now don't even fit in the windowframes and a visible gap has opened up at the base. The southern wall has actually warped. And never mind that the wall beneath the verandah has gone a charming poo-stain brown just to ram home the decrepitude. This is simply depressing.

The rear of the house. Thanks, collapsed fence.
Once upon a time, this would have been another charming old house, cut from the same basic mould as many in the area. Now it's just, uh, mouldy. It's clearly suffered decades of neglect, and I am at a loss to understand how. The house is in a rather handy spot: it's on the corner of a moderately significant road (Dawson Street), it's close to Union Square, only slightly further to the wares and wonders of Sydney Road's shops, and there is plenty of public transport. Houses with those sorts of nearby amenities go for fucking heaps. What I think is depressing is that whoever let this place fall into such an abject state could make a heap of money by selling this to a developer, who'll probably knock it over and build something from the hideous contemporary templates that seem to be the basis for every new house and apartment block around here.

Rating: Cellar floor, and if that southern end loses much more structural integrity (i.e. in a strong breeze!), we may be looking at our first Dot Dot Curve here.

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