History has been both preserved and rewritten in this stunningly updated Fitzroy home set up to delight future generations while retaining all the period charm that previous ones have loved so much. Vendor Mary bought the home at 32 Martin Ave in 2005, saying her attraction to the property was threefold.
“I really loved the area, it’s just such an extraordinary area,” Mary says.
“The street was also a huge drawcard – it’s one of the best streets in Fitzroy – and then the third thing that attracted me was that the house has a lot of grace and opulence about it. It’s an extraordinary property and, despite its age, everything about it is pristine and the property is just immaculate. It presents as well today as it ever has. It’s such a wonderful home.
Despite the sandstone property being updated throughout, Mary says she was careful to retain its original character.
“It’s still largely in its original state with its original fireplaces and timber features – it’s really mind-blowing for visitors because they’re not expecting that history to be preserved quite as well as it has,” she says. “People really love that turn of the century aesthetic.”
The home was built in 1936 and later renovated and extended to currently offer four bedrooms, formal and informal living areas, a central kitchen and several luxe bathrooms.
“I had built on a huge extension which added a family room, two bedrooms, a laundry and also a huge underground rumpus or billiard room,” Mary says.
“That room was built around the billiard table – because you wouldn’t be able to get it in or out once it was built – so that will come with the house.
“And then on top of that is a massive 150 or 160sqm six-car garage which is independently alarmed and highly secured.
“The garage was built to the same spec as the house, so it’s fully insulated, double brick, tiled – everything except airconditioning – and we’ve actually matched the stone for that to the original stone of the home. It’s all been done properly. I love cars and have a lot of them, so here I can have six cars locked up and alarmed, and then I can fit more under cover as well. I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve done to this home. You wouldn’t be able to build this house again. The walls are so thick that even in summer you hardly use the airconditioner. When the extension was carried out we made sure the same methodology was adopted and we didn’t cut any corners – we used the same philosophy they used back in the day.”
Mary says the home’s size and layout make it ideal for entertaining, and she would love to see another family move in and love it like she has.
“The home was built for parties,” she says. “It’s got a big backyard and sits on a huge block of 1226sqm, and the way we designed the garage, you can open it up and spill out into the backyard.
“We’ve hosted a lot of parties and family gatherings here over the years and it’s given us a lot of enjoyment. I’ve got a huge family so birthday parties, Christmases, Easter – we’ve had them all here.
“It’s the perfect house for a big family, and I’m looking forward to the next family really enjoying it as we have. I had two children here, and a beautiful cat, and there was plenty of space here for us.”
With the time having come to downsize, Mary says she is dreading leaving the suburb she loves so much – Fitzroy.
“When the kids were swimming we’d walk a street over to the aquatic centre; we’ve got North Adelaide’s O’Connell St shops within walking distance, and we often walked to the city because it’s just so close,” she says.
“Fitzroy is just a hidden gem. It’s just me here now and I’d love to stay in the same area, but Fitzroy is very tightly held, so I might have to look for something in a neighbouring suburb. But I’ve really loved Fitzroy.”
Price: Contact agent.
Agent: Williams Real Estate, Stephanie Williams 0413 874 888 and John Williams 0411 747 555.
Auction: Saturday, July 30 at 11am.