$1.6 million to restore historic house

History in the making: Mount Druitt Historical Society treasurer Sue Fitzgerald and president Hazel Magann have welcomed the proposed restoration of Woodstock House. “It’s a significant old house,” Mrs Magann said. Picture: Helen NezdropaONE of Plumpton’s oldest and best kept secrets is set to be restored to its former glory.

A Blacktown Council report has recommended the $1.6 million restoration of Woodstock House, built in 1875.

The wooden house was built by Walter Lam, who managed Woodstock Fruit Cannery and Processing Works and lived there until his death in 1906.

The area was initially known as Woodstock, but when a post office was established in 1889, there was confusion as a railway station on the Blayney-Harden railway line was also called Woodstock.

It became a boarding house in 1937, which ran for more than 50 years until Blacktown Council bought it in 1998 to use as a community facility, which never eventuated.

It’s one of the favourite homes of Mount Druitt Historical Society president Hazel Magann.

“It’s the reason why I got involved in the historical society,” she said.

“There’s something about the house that draws you. We would like to see it fully restored to its former glory. But we hope the successful tender is much aware of the property’s history and respects the building. It was the private home of Mr Lam, who had a big impact on the area. He put a lot into the property and into Plumpton.”

The council report says the building is now in a dilapidated state.

Tenders were called to undertake restoration works but the council resolved to defer the matter in 2012 following advice about the market value of the site.

“It was to be fully restored as a childcare development but that fell through and [it] has stood vacant and deteriorated since,” Mrs Magann said.

“We patrol it regularly but it’s currently in a bad way.”

Council officers have considered various options and recommended to restore Woodstock.

The council report recommends seeking listing on the State Heritage Register to ensure the house is protected into the future.

A new expression of interest to lease the property will be undertaken when the restoration is complete. The rezoning of an adjoining reserve is also recommended.

“The house is unique to the Plumpton area as it was the first wooden home of its type to be built there,” Mrs Magann said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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