• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

East Melbourne: 165-year-old home has Lake Como optical illusion mural inside

ByGurinderbir Singh

Jan 10, 2023

A 165-year-old East Melbourne home with a Lake Como-inspired mural is for sale.

A 165-year-old home with a courtyard serving as an optical illusion has hit the market in East Melbourne.

The vendor of the 87 Powlett St pad believed it to have been built in 1858 as a rectory for the English gothic-style Cairns Memorial Church on the corner of Powlett and Hotham St.

The building has since been converted into an apartment complex after it was destroyed by a fire in 1988.

He purchased the three-bedroom home 22 years ago, with CoreLogic records showing he bought it from previous owners, Roman Architecture author and University of Melbourne Classics lecturer Frank Sear and his wife Jane Coupland, who paid $840,000 in 2000.

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The trompe-l’oeil courtyard mural serves as an optical, three-dimensional illusion imitating the scenic landscapes of Italy’s Lake Como.

The three-bedroom home has a number of period features.

It’s now for sale with a $3.85m-$4.235m price guide ahead of its private auction on for February 16.

Much of the historic residence remains in original condition, but the feature turning buyers’ heads is the private, trompe-l’oeil courtyard accessed via the kitchen.

It’s adorned with a seemingly three-dimensional mural that Ambercromby’s Real Estate Armadale agent Emma Pierson said was painted by the vendors’ friend — an English painter who created the mural over the course of a month to replicate the scenic landscapes of Italy’s Lake Como resort area.

A second outdoor space is found at the rear of the home.

There’s also two open fireplaces.

“There’s also a couple of really pretty stained glass windows inside,” Ms Pierson said. “The internal has an Italianate feel about it.”

A second outdoor space is found at the rear of the home, while other period features include ornate marble flooring, two open fireplaces and original chandeliers.

Upstairs there’s three bedrooms, the main with an ensuite and balcony, as well as a bathroom and study.

The property heads under the hammer in February unless sold prior.

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