RESTORING an old bank in North Perth was a labour of love for its owner, award-winning photographer Denise Teo.
The Fitzgerald Street branch of the The Bank of New South Wales was opened in 1938, but when Teo bought it in the 1990s it was being leased by ANZ.
Ceilings had been lowered, unattractive fluoro lighting installed and the floors were covered in carpet squares.
She took her time restoring the art deco building, designed by renowned architect firm Hobbs Forbes, including reinstating the soaring 4.5 metre high ceilings and uncovering and polishing the jarrah floor boards.
It’s been Teo’s photo studio and gallery for more than 20 years, and the only room not restored to its former glory is the darkroom.
“I left it to show what the building was like.”
Downstairs is a sweeping gallery space with massive windows and a recessed ceiling.
Six Belgian up-lights in the floorboards cast a 30-degree beam of light, creating a theatrical atmosphere.
Beautifully restored jarrah stairs with acorn finials lead to the second level, which was the bank manager’s family home until 1976.
“His son, now in his 60s, came in and said he’d lived here,” Teo says.
The huge studio/portrait room, across the front of the second level, was the family’s lounge and dining room, and the rear kitchenette was once a kids’ bedroom.
New owners could use this fantastic art deco property as commercial premises, but it would also make an amazing home/office.
Although there are toilets on both floors, there’s no proper kitchen or bathroom, but there’s plenty of space to put some in.
The building is heritage-listed but some works are permitted without planning approval, such as interior fit-outs.
This stunning property in the heart of the Fitzgerald Street strip with cafes, hotels and shops in every direction.
452 Fitzgerald St, North Perth
0433 118 353
Bellcourt Property Group