Windsor house engineered by Sir John Monash with private art studio for sale

2 weeks ago 15

The property at 172 Peel St, Windsor, was formerly a post office and telephone exchange.


A historic Windsor house engineered by Sir John Monash has just been listed for sale with a $5.6m-$6.16m price tag.

The building at 172 Peel St was built in two stages across two decades in the 1890s and 1910s.

Originally used as a post office and later as a telephone exchange, it has been transformed into a five-bedroom residence by owner and retired photographer Graham Baring, who worked for Sothebys, the jewellery business Kozminsky Studio and fine art auction house Deutscher and Hackett.

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The building was originally designed by architect Horace John Mackennal and its reinforced concrete frame was engineered by Sir John Monash.

An engineer and public administrator, Sir Monash was also one of Australia’s most prominent World War I commanders.

He supervised construction of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance and Monash University was named in his honour.

Baring purchased the site from the state government about 25 years ago.

12m-wide leadlight windows in one of the living spaces.


A tiled bathtub in one of the three bathrooms.


The renovated and restored home features 4.5m-high ceilings, original jarrah floorboards and 19th-century tessellated tiles.

An original staircase with embellished brass handrails and north-facing windows including decorative leadlighting add to the historic charm.

The third floor has clerestory windows and vintage steel truss beams, and currently serves as a writing studio and gym and yoga space.

Below, the first floor boasts a large fully self-contained studio.

4.5m-high ceilings are consistent throughout the home.


Baring said the Windsor pad offered a fantastic lifestyle and the large windows let in plenty of sunshine, perfect for shooting photographs.

“We’ve got fantastic light, over 12 metres of windows and I’m just looking out with no-one looking in,” he said.

“Even when the trees lose their leaves in winter, I can get a tan on the couch.”

He added that many older buildings – such as his home – possessed a solid, enduring quality which some newer structures lacked.

“This was built in a golden age for Victorian buildings, the windows still work, all those sort of things 100 years later,” he said.

“You don’t get that with modern buildings, 20 years down the track things stop working.”

Another living zone also used as a creative studio.


One of five bedrooms.


Mr Baring said his wife’s dream had always been to have a garden, so they had purchased a new property with an outdoor area which is just five minutes away from no. 172.

“It has been a fantastic building and I think nothing lasts forever,” he said.

“The kids will be sad when we leave it because they’ve got so many happy memories here.”

WHITEFOX Real Estate chairman Graeme Wilson said the house’s Peel St facade dated back to the 1890s and the rear section on Albert St was constructed in 1910.

“The original structure of the place though, the ground floor, some of the walls are six bricks thick so it wasn’t built to just last a few years; they don’t build them like that today,” Mr Wilson said.

“One of the most fascinating sections is the living area of the house, the ceilings are about 5.5m-high, and it’s adorned by beautiful airtight windows.”


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