Conservation and interpretation of John Curtin's House: progress reports

Progress report one (August 2009)

Development Approval has been applied for and is expected to be approved by mid-September. The structural engineer has completed his report, and builders have been contracted to undertake the main conservation works.

Progress report two (November 2009)

Conservation works are due to be completed by mid-January. The draft interpretation plan is completed and due to be implemented in early 2010.

Final result

All works at John Curtin House are complete. Conservation works include:

  • re-stumping
  • asbestos removal and re-cladding
  • re-roofing of the garage and wash house
  • re-pointing of limestone foundations and the brick outhouse
  • internal and external painting
  • internal floor coverings and window furnishings
  • minor upgrades to the bathroom and kitchen.

Archaeological investigation of the garden and landscape conservation works have been undertaken.

In implementing works, a cautious approach has been taken in accordance with the Burra Charter. Techniques included use of traditional lime mortar for re-pointing; using paint scrapes to identify accurate colour schemes; relaying of the original timber garage floor in the original construction method; careful re-stumping of the rear verandah; and retaining the internal finishes and fixtures.

Experienced conservators were employed to pack and conserve objects from the Curtin Family Home collection.

New interpretation will ensure the heritage values of John Curtin House are recognised and understood in the wider community. Interpretive devices include an audio guide, booklet and website. A number of events will also be undertaken, including a public open day, National Trust members' event and a fundraising dinner/drama event. These innovative approaches to the management of the site will ensure its sustainability.