8 March 2024

Modern practicality meets tradition in this charming heritage cottage in Braddon

| Vanessa Hayden
Start the conversation

Here’s a chance to buy a significant piece of Canberra’s history with one of the original Civic cottages in Braddon on the market. Photo: Supplied.

It’s only the third time in 102 years that this beautiful heritage-listed property in Braddon’s oldest housing precinct has been offered for sale.

Located at 23 Batman Street, this single-story brick home is a perfect example of a Civic cottage and still holds all its original charm, according to sales agent Moira Maloney from Maloney’s Property.

“This is a little bit of history that we are selling,” she explains. “It was one of the first 24 homes constructed for the new nation’s capital.”

Located in Subdivision One, Neighborhood One (now known as the Braddon Conservation Area), the precinct’s design was the forerunner of Canberra’s residential streetscapes. Its cottages were modified from plans originally designed for housing railway workers in Lithgow.

“The original style was meant to be unpretentious, with homely qualities, natural materials, and honesty expressed with its brick face work and simple roof planes with wide eaves. This home still has all those attributes,” she said.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home sits nestled behind a classic Photinia hedge on a generous 743 square metre allotment.

“What sets this apart is that a lot of modern homes dominate the block they are on, whereas the heritage homes, and this one is an excellent example of that, have a relationship between the house and the garden and it’s just beautiful.

“It sits nicely on the block and feels like it belongs there.”

The original philosophy behind these homes was to create a healthy working and living environment for urban residents, with provisions for parks, playgrounds, open spaces, and tree and grass planting.

“This was to allow for greater social interaction, and I think that’s as relevant today as it was back then, perhaps even more so. I’ve noticed a real sense of that with this house already.

“I think my sellers here are some of the most popular people in Canberra as people are always dropping in to say hello!” she laughed.

“I think that’s a testament to the beautiful sellers that I’m selling for, but the home itself lends itself to that.”

There is everything you would expect from a heritage home – high ceilings, two original and operating fireplaces, and internal doors and light fittings that reflect a bygone era.

The precinct, established in 1921-22, is the first expression of the Garden City Concept in Canberra and was constructed to meet the urgent need to provide housing for public servants and workmen to facilitate the building of the Civic Centre and the establishment of the capital.

“It’s lovely that so many of the property’s original features have been maintained,” said Moira.

Apart from the addition of a sleepout in 1932 and the verandah enclosure in 1938, the structure of the house is original.

“I love the fact that you’ve got all these rooms – a fireside chat room, your dining room, and your meals-kitchen space – so it’s like it makes an occasion of everything. It’s not all-in-one area. It makes occasions for each of them.

“The overall feeling is solid, but it also has a wonderful energy, and you can almost hear the laughter of the children from previous generations – it’s 102 years old, after all!

“That’s the feeling I get. You think, I wish these walls could talk. I can just imagine the conversations held here, through World War II, the Depression, – the people that have lived here, have lived.”

She said the home would suit couples or young families. It’s close to public transport and within minutes of many of the premier social amenities of Canberra City.

The gardens are designed to function as an extension of the indoor living area and feature established deciduous and evergreen trees and raised garden beds for horticulture.

Modern touches include solar panels on the roof, manually operated awnings fitted to the north- and west-facing windows, ceiling fans, ducted central heating, and heated towel rails in the main bathroom.

“The feel of the house actually begins before you walk inside. It is a private oasis in the middle of Canberra, and you feel that the moment you walk in from the garden.

“I can imagine someone getting married in the side garden. I can see how that would work so easily there.”

She said it would be hard to find a more perfect position in the inner north.

This slice of history at 23 Batman Street in Braddon will be auctioned on site at 10 am on 23 March. To find out more, contact Moira Maloney on 6232 0148 and check out all the latest listings on Zango.

Don’t forget to check out Zango’s Skyfire competition where you could win a double pass to the Official Skyfire VIP Function at Regatta Point.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.