Bardon’s Fairy House Continues to Invite and Beguile

In 1950, Russian artist and architect Grigori Mekhonoshin, added magic to Bardon when he decided to build what would subsequently become Bardon’s Fairy House.

Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

Built after World War II and originally intended for his daughter, the house took a long time to finish because Mekhonoshin struggled to find available materials for the construction of the house in post-war Bardon. Because of its unique structure and layout, the locals soon started calling it the Fairy House.

Enchanté

Walking along the busy McGregor Terrace, visitors will only be able to see the apex of the attic, an odd sight to behold at street level. Several unique sculptures stand like silent sentinels outside, tickling your curiosity to look further inwards.

As you approach, you will discover that the house has three levels. Inside, the house has picturesque views of the hills from all levels.

Phoito credit: Flickr
Photo credit: Flickr

The upper-level, built in the style of a loft, has a trap door with a ladder, providing access to the room below. Aside from that, it has its own access to an outside walk bridge.

The middle level has a massive main bedroom complete with a study-cum-sitting area, with amazing outside views that can make the weary feel happy in just a snap. It has its own bathroom and another external access.

Photo credit: 2012 the foto fanatic / Your Brisbane
Photo credit: 2012 the foto fanatic / Your Brisbane

The kitchen, the third bedroom, and the living area are all located on the lower level that flows out onto the covered deck. Trees in the backyard provide a quiet, shady spot to meditate and feel close to nature.

The garage may look like a normal garage, but it is actually the upper level of a separate structure, with another room that’s perfect for guests, and a full bathroom. Its whimsical decor, or an outside entrance where one shouldn’t be, all contribute to the magical appeal of the place.

Fairy House As Private Residence

Unfortunately, tourists and locals who wish to further see the inside of the home will be disappointed, as it is now a private residence.

It wasn’t always that way, though. In 2008, the house was almost demolished, along with 27 other properties along MacGregor Terrace, as part of the State Government’s proposal to improve the street. Fortunately, the issues were resolved and the property remains standing, ready to cast its magic upon unsuspecting passers-by, and keeping them spellbound long enough for them to appreciate the enchantments of Bardon’s one and only Fairy House.

Bardon Residents Can Now Own a Home Through a Simple Parish Program

Creativity is one of the strongest traits of the Jubilee Parish in West Brisbane. Recognising the challenge that young families, in particular, go through with first-time home ownership, a West Brisbane Catholic came up with a brilliant solution to help them acquire their own house. In 2008, they launched the Head Start Program. By 2017, the parish has already helped three families and aspires to help more in the coming years.

 

A Fateful Donation

The Head Start Program is all about giving people a head start in home ownership. It all started with Mrs Quinn, a Bardon parishioner who endowed her house to the parish in 2008. The eponymously named Quinn house has since become a haven for families seeking living assistance, as they struggle to find a place to stay, while saving up to find a home within their means.

 

How Does it Work?

The Head Start Program allows a family to move into Quinn house for a certain period of time, paying rent within their means. There may be an optional rent increase, depending on the family’s budget. Once the rent is up, the family gets back everything they paid for, which they can use as a deposit to buy their own house.

 

The Catch

While in the program, the family must nurture and preserve a relationship with the parish community. The parish covers Bardon and other nearby suburbs such as Ashgrove, Paddington, Newmarket, Petrie Terrace, Red Hill and Herston.

Alex and Yenny Malaver with 4-year-old son, Alex, are grateful to finally have a home of their own. Photo Credit: Emilie Ng / catholicleader.com.au
Alex and Yenny Malaver with 4-year-old son, Alex, are grateful to finally have a home of their own. Photo Credit: Emilie Ng / catholicleader.com.au

Alex and Yenny Malaver plus Gabriel, their son, are the third family from Colombia who has taken advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Alex, who is still studying, really thought at first that it would be impossible for them to get their own house right away. All of that changed when they came across the parish newsletter that contained details about the Quinn House. They spent three years in the house and finally, last month, they were able to pay the downpayment for a house in Herston.

The Malavers with Fr Peter Brannelly. Photo Credit: Emilie Ng / catholicleader.com.au
The Malavers with Fr Peter Brannelly. Photo Credit: Emilie Ng / catholicleader.com.au

Fr Peter Brannelly, the Jubilee parish priest stresses that they do not only accommodate young families. Refugees, pensioners, overseas students, and asylum seekers are welcome.

“The most valuable asset we have as a parish in this part of Brisbane is accommodation and we have consciously tried to be creative with what we have and how we use it,” Fr Brannelly said.

Next month, the parish will start the process of looking for a new family again, to use the Quinn House. Fr Brannelly said that while they honour Mrs Quinn’s generosity, they see the use of her house as an act done “in services of the Gospel.” Mrs Quinn would definitely agree.

Photo credit: TripleThree/Wikipedia