The mystery surrounding a Victorian house that has been sitting on the street for more than 50 years is getting more intriguing.
In a bid to raise awareness of a nearby local business, the National Capital Region Council is building a new house on Wellington Road.
The house is set to be built at the corner property owned by the family of the late George Smith.
George Smith’s wife, Mary, passed away in 2014 and his daughter, Sarah, has also passed away.
“We just wanted to help out our neighbours,” Sarah Smith said.
“So it was really just about us doing something that would help our neighbours.”
Her family moved into the house when George Smith was just 12 years old.
“I had never seen my father, but I’ve known him for more years than that,” Sarah said.
In the house, George Smith’s daughter, Mary (left) and husband George Smith sit on a sofa in the living room of the house at 7 Wellington Road, Victoria.
The Smiths own a number of properties on Wellington Rd, including the old Victorian home on Broad Street, which sits on the ground floor of the property.
The building is designed to house a range of businesses, including a nursery, a nursery business and a bakery.
“It was an idea that came to us and we just wanted it to be more than just a house,” Sarah explained.
“When we first put it on the market, we didn’t think it would be so big and that it would take so long to do.”
In its first year of construction, the building will take about three months to build, Sarah said, and could eventually take as long as six months.
“For a long time, it was the biggest house in Victoria,” Sarah added.
“But we’ve been talking to people who’ve been in the business for 50 years and they’ve all told us that they love it and it’s really nice.”
George Smith died in the 1970s, but the Smiths continue to live in the house.
Sarah Smith said she had a vision of a Victorian home being built at their property.
“There were a lot of different things we could have done with it and we thought that we should have a little bit of the Victorian touch,” Sarah told ABC News Victoria.
“That was the idea, we wanted to put something that really captured the Victorian feel of this neighbourhood.”
Sarah said the house was designed with the help of local architects, and the Smith family were also involved in a community centre.
“If we wanted something to really capture the Victorian vibe, it would have to be something we didn’ know about,” Sarah admitted.
“The Smith family actually came up with a little garden, which was a little unusual for us because it was a Victorian garden, and they really wanted to make sure that it looked like a Victorian estate.”
Sarah Smith and her family have been working on the project for more then a year.
“You can’t have a house on Broad St without some sort of signage, so we’ve just been looking for a way to do that,” she said.
The project will take two years to complete and cost about $2 million.
“This is a really big project,” Sarah says.
“A lot of work is involved, but it’s going to be a lot better for the community.”
George Smith and his family were a really great community, we had a good sense of community and it was important to get that message out.
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