Furlong's new lease of life

WORK to restore one of the city's oldest buildings Furlong House to its former glory has begun.

The historic property, believed to be built between 1850 - 1885, was left disused for many years.

It is being renovated as part of the development approval for the multi-story apartment block located directly behind it.

Queanbeyan City Council heritage adviser Pip Giovanelli said it was challenging bringing a building from a bygone era into a contemporary setting.

"In a sense the challenge was what should be kept, changed and modified to meet the potential needs of the building in the future," he said.

"You need a building from the 1850s to perform in 2015."

Mr Giovanelli along with conservation architects Eric Martin and Associates have retained some of the unique elements of the house including the verandah's decorative lace which is from the old Royal Hotel.

The original door and window frames will also be restored to retain the building's character.

In keeping with the house's Victorian character, a colour scheme of white and light stone will be used for the building with highlights in Indian red and turquoise.

"The back of the building is quite interesting and will be retained. The back section of the building had been chopped off years ago but it's left some exposed brickwork, render, paint and timber work that was done throughout the years," Mr Giovanelli said.

"It's a testament to what's been left, like an artist's canvas."

Elements of the house that were beyond repair like decaying brickwork, timber floorboards and the roof were discarded and replaced.

A new staircase will be installed and modern touches include data cabling, lighting, electricity and security access.

LJ Hooker real estate agent Chris Farmer said the house lent itself to be used as an office space.

"This would probably suit a professional environment as a nice office or something like that. A doctor's surgery, an accountant or small law firm would be ideal with good street frontage," he said.

"I have had a lot of interest from bars and restaurants but we don't want that for this older property."

Of the 42 Furlong Apartments, 25 have been sold and another nine will be retained by the owner.

Mr Farmer estimated building will be finished in May with the first occupants to move in between June to August.

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