If the walls of this Carlton house could talk, who knows where they’d begin! The 1860s property has certainly seen its fair share of history, starting with the first intercolonial handball competition being played here in 1873. The handball court was later converted into a brick factory, before architect John Mockridge turned it into his own residence in 1970. More recently the home has been featured on television shows, including The Slap and Halifax f.p.
The current owners Vicki and Ross purchased this home 12 years ago, at which point it hadn’t been touched since 1974. The couple were drawn to the history of the building and its perfectly preserved feel. ‘It has such a specific design about it – cork ceiling and a mezzanine in that very ‘70s style,’ is how Vicki describes the space.
Some renovations designed by architect and historian Allan Willingham have since been made to the property ‘It’s such a relic of that era – we were conscious of not interfering with it too much. We felt like custodians of this historic building,’ says Vicki. The main changes were increasing the size of the kitchen, converting the third level of the building (later added by John Mockridge as his studio) into the main bedroom suite, and turning an outside toilet into a 1050 bottle wine cellar. Vicki is a picture framer, and has relished the opportunity to cover the walls with art in the same manner John Mockridge once did.
One of Vicki’s favourite features of the property is the private, north-facing courtyard, which is exceptionally large for an inner-city property. The orientation of the space sees plants thrive year-round, and markings from the original handball court can still be seen on the walls. The location is also wonderful, being positioned on Macarthur Square and with views of the city skyline.
After 12 years living here, Vicki and Ross have decided to downsize to a nearby property and have placed this home on the market. If you’re looking for an inner-city three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with endless character, now is the time!