Over $500,000 is being spent on repairs and restoration of two historic buildings in Victor Harbor.
The roof of the Adare Conference Centre ‘Castle’ is being replaced, while the Grosvenor Hotel’s new balcony is almost completed.
Both properties are on the State Heritage Register and are having their restorations carried out by Victor Harbor builder South Coast Constructions, who have worked closely with heritage architects Flightpath, plus State Heritage and City of Victor Harbor staff to get the projects approved and underway.
Mark Lee, general manager of Uniting Venues SA, said the work being undertaken at Adare would see the iron roof and gutters replaced, which would allow the church to carry out other maintenance and restoration work inside.
“It has stopped us from doing some preventative maintenance inside. The roof has been leaking and birds have been nesting in it too,” Mark said.
“We chose South Coast Constructions because they were local and had recently done the roof restoration and repair at Newland Uniting Church.”
The church has been considering undertaking the work for more than seven years, but funding has been one of the reasons it has been delayed so long.
Maintaining heritage buildings such as Adare and the Grosvenor comes at a heavy cost for property owners.
However, there are significant restrictions placed on owners about the style of work that can be carried out, right down to the colours that can be used.
Owners and builders must work closely with heritage advisors at both the state and local level.
For John Hodge, owner of the Grosvenor Hotel, it has been a frustrating and expensive process after the City of Victor Harbor advised him that the veranda at the hotel had to be replaced for safety reasons.
“We had wanted to undertake the work during the main street redevelopment, but we were unable to get the approvals in time,” he said.
“It has cost a lot more because of the rules that the heritage people put in place, but, in the end, it will contribute to the general improvement of Victor Harbor. It will make a difference and hopefully it will be there for another 100 years.”
The Adare Conference Centre building was built as an extension to the original Hindmarsh Cottage that was built in 1837 by Governor Hindmarsh.
The mansion was completed in 1893 as a holiday home for River Murray pastoralist Daniel H Cudmore.
The Grosvenor Hotel was built in 1897 from local sandstone by John Alexander Humberstone. In 1900 it became Victor Harbor’s first gas-lit building.
An 1897 article in the South Australian Register said the hotel contained 60 rooms.