Even as a Geelong supporter, Hawthorn holds many attractions for me! The architecture is quite spectacular, especially around the Grace Park Estate. Hawthorn has many excellent examples of Federation, Edwardian and Victorian architecture. I love to admire the stained glass window panels, ornate plaster cornices and ceiling roses. Pressed metal ceilings, to me, are quite mesmerising. I love how such attention to detail and effort was made for something as routing as a ceiling.
Hawthorn’s double story terrace houses show us how much work and detail went into balustrades with the fitting of iron lacework. The vast majority of the original pieces are still intact today. The large balconies and roof line provide excellent protection for the house in all weather, particularly in the summer heat.
The staircases in these houses are also a lovely example of woodturning with fine layers and curves. These staircases become a feature of their grand entranceway.
I’ve replaced a few timber handrails that sit on top of the balustrade lacework, as like most timber, over several decades it will deteriorate. Unfortunately it is rare that the original handrail can be matched with a timber that is available off the shelf at a timberyard. In my experience, most timberyards have styles that are similar, although their width and height can be very different. If you want the exact design it may have to be machined at a woodturning company. The lacework is screwed to the top of the decking and the underside of the handrail only, so it’s very important to regularly check that it is secure. Assessing if the decking timber is rotten at the base of the lacework or the handrail is weather damaged is a starting point. Also check if the screws have snapped or are corroded. If you are unsure, feel free to give me a call.