Barton’s concrete pillar signposts to be restored

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PRESIDENT of the Kingston and Barton Residents Group, Rebecca Scouller, says the historic importance of Barton and Kingston’s unique streetscapes has been acknowledged in the ACT Government’s latest round of heritage grants.

“The grant will enable work to start on the restoration of Barton’s concrete pillar signposts,” Rebecca said.

“We are a relatively young city. These grants enable us to retain and preserve an important part of our history for present and future generations.”

Rebecca praised the survey efforts of committee member, Ian Morison who, together with volunteers, surveyed the precinct’s street furniture and trees and identified that the concrete pillar signposts deserved the highest priority.

“Ian’s important work adds to our knowledge of Canberra’s early history and will ensure that these fragile objects will be protected from the effects of sun, frost and rain,” Rebecca said.

“The concrete pillar signposts with embossed aluminium street names on four sides were installed in 1928. They were designed to be pedestrian friendly and were part of the Federal Capital Commission’s comprehensive approach to the design of residential streetscapes.

Ian said the depression stopped work on the pillars.

“When work resumed in the mid 1930s motorists wanted taller concrete posts with cross arms because they were easier to read,” Ian said.

“The Canberra Times of August 1935 had noted the decision, commenting ‘that the department will not install any more of the small type with the vertical inscription.'”

The professional program of restoration will be undertaken by Gillian Mitchell of Conservation Works and local members will be participating with the final restorative step, of repainting the posts.

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