Mechanics Institute gets a makeover

BRUSHING UP ON HISTORY: Painting contractor Greg O’Neill in front of the Mechanics Institute building. Photo: David Cole
BRUSHING UP ON HISTORY: Painting contractor Greg O’Neill in front of the Mechanics Institute building. Photo: David Cole

The glorious former Mechanics Institute building in Goulburn has received a makeover recently, courtesy of local painting contractor Greg O’Neill and his crew.

They have been busy working on the building since February, repainting the exterior, which also includes the Roses Cafe.

Mr O’Neill specialises in painting heritage buildings and he has painted the building three times: in 1994, then 2013, and now also in 2017.

He said Goulburn was full of such heritage gems and he would love to see more of these old buildings restored to their former glory. 

“It would be great if other landowners in the main street took advantage of the heritage grants offered by the council to spruce up the facades above the buildings,” Mr O’Neill said.

“There are some fine examples of early heritage in Goulburn with magnificent ornate frontages, but the majority could do with a bit of a face lift.”

Mr O’Neill’s team has also painted The Old Fire Station and the Johnson and Sendall building in Montague Street as well as the buildings across from Belmore Park above Phil Murray Central Optics and the Park Newsagency. He has also painted the Gunning Courthouse. 

"We like the heritage work,” Mr O’Neill said.

“We love the old architecture and the main street of Goulburn.

“You drive anywhere else in the state and the facades are painted up, but for some reason in Goulburn, people don’t do it.

“We hope the city gets behind its heritage more and pushes to get some more of these buildings painted. 

“People walking past have commented that it would be great to get more of the buildings in the main street painted like this.”

Mr O’Neill said the colours he used to paint the Mechanics Institute were condiment (orange), bare brown and gun-metal beige (grey).