Wednesday, June 25, 2008

North Coast Architecture - a note

In Diary of a travelling trainer - day two: Grafton, Sydney talking about my drive around South Grafton I noted there was a very distinct feel to North Coast architecture. Since then, I have kept an eye out for any material that might tell me something about the history and style of the buildings, but so far without luck. For that reason, I thought that I might put down a few rough notes for my own benefit.

Looking just at Grafton, you find the older buildings in both Grafton and South Grafton towards the river, essentially the old port areas. Because this was a timber area, wood construction was important. So we have two story pubs of wood construction with verandahs; there is a distinct style feel here including decorative use of wood that can also be found in the Macleay Valley to the south.

To analyse this, I really need to get photos to allow me to compare and contrast features.

The older houses in Grafton are not necessarily large but often very attractive. There seems little of the town house style architecture found in Armidale, although in both places iron lace work was commonly used as a decoration.

Outside the towns, the remains of the now diminished dairy industry with its milk sheds can still be found. As a child driving down from the Tablelands I always noticed the shift to the dairy style. Smaller houses, low, wood, with the milking areas nearby.

In part because of the connection between architecture, climate and economic activity, there appear to be shifting styles across New England. I always took this for granted. However, with change styles seem to be blurring, hence the need to document now.

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