Renovations bring grandeur up to date, writes
LARGE estate grounds are a luxury afforded to few homes within a couple of kilometres of Adelaide’s city centre. One is the stately Ivanhoe in Gilberton – on 4400sq m of park grounds on Edwin Tce. Ivanhoe, however, has more than just expansive grounds. The residence comprises almost 740sq m of living space over two levels.
Vendor Robert Brady has owned the property since 2000, and has restored the residence in a sympathetic way over his time there, making improvements inside and out.
‘‘There is a new floor. I completely rewired the house, put in new ornate cornices and changed the layout downstairs extensively,’’ he says.
‘‘It didn’t have a kitchen/family room layout so I changed that radically to create a typical, open-space kitchen and family room area.’’
Mr Brady says the restoration process revealed a few welcome surprises. ‘‘The entry foyer was completely carpeted and when I pulled it up it had this 100-yearold parquetry underneath,’’ he says.
‘‘I got a carpenter in for a few weeks and he basically repaired it all and now there is magnificent parquetry as you walk in the front door.’’
Extensive improvements also have been made outside the residence. ‘‘One of the things that surprised me for such a large property is that it didn’t have an outdoor covered entertaining area,’’ Mr Brady says. ‘‘But I had built a fairly substantial pavilion, which has got a typical outdoor table, a lounge area and the spa underneath it.
‘‘I put in a synthetic tennis court and built a new swimming pool with a spa.’’
Agent Jamie Brown, of Bernard H Booth, says the origins of the property are interesting. ‘‘It was originally built by Sir George Brookman in 1889,’’ he says.
‘‘He was one of the original syndicate members who discovered the Kalgoorlie group of mines in WA.
‘‘He named the residence Ivanhoe after one of the most successful goldmines.’’
Mr Brady says the legacy of Sir George still remains in the house.
‘‘If you look on some of the doors, on the plaster work, it’s got GB – his initials – that he had built into the house,’’ he says. The Barr Smith family also owned the home for a while, Mr Brady says.
Mr Brown says the property is one of the finest going around.
‘‘This is one of the last big acreages in Adelaide on arguably the best residential street in Adelaide,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s an absolute haven for family lifestyle.
‘‘You’d be hard pressed to get another property with that stately grand mansion and those park grounds.’’
Mr Brown says the extensive restoration and improvements to the original features of the home have been done to retain their character making the house ready to be lived in and enjoyed.
‘‘With the ducted reverse-cycle airconditioning, the vendor did not want to put obtrusive vents in the ceilings so he had all the air come through the ceiling roses,’’ he says.
‘‘A lot of money has been spent on those sort of things.’’
So after 10 years at Ivanhoe and making thorough improvements, will Mr Brady miss the property?
‘‘Absolutely, as some of my friends say, it’s actually like being in a resort, especially in the summer when you’ve got people playing tennis and people in the pool,’’ he says.
‘‘But it’s a bit of a waste that I’m just here on my own 60 per cent of the time. I’m thinking about going something modern for a change.’’