“The jewel in the crown of Dubbo” has a sparkle once more and the fresh coat of paint is just the start for the main street landmark.
The clock tower of the former post office has been unwrapped from scaffolding to reveal its face for the future.
Painting is progressing faster than owner Jillian Kilby expected and she reported it was bringing “joy” to the city.
The engineer and 2018 Agrifutures NSW/ ACT Rural Woman of the Year bought the heritage property from Telstra in November.
The goal is to transform the building, which Ms Kilby and her team have dubbed “The Exchange Clock Tower”, into another home for The Exchange, a new community of start-ups businesses.
This week the owner took the Daily Liberal on a tour to see progress in the restoration works taking place under her leadership.
Painters have been applying a special kind of high quality Dulux paint as a “membrane… that is both paint and protection”.
Ms Kilby praised the Dubbo tradies for their work, including through January’s run of extreme temperatures.
One had sent a message saying it was the best project he had worked on, she said.
“So what’s unique about this for me is how high everyone’s spirits are, the acknowledgement of the contribution the painters are making to the restoration of an icon, and how much joy that’s bringing the city,” she said.
The Dubbo-based entrepreneur anticipated painting the front and laneway sides of the building should be finished in “only a few more weeks”.
“The northern side is harder because the access is tighter and the facade is a little bit more damaged, and we have to do a little bit more work over there,” she said.
Old photos of the building had revealed it was monotone, which guided the colour choice.
“We knew that going for a white fresh look was important, but until you step inside the scaffolding and see the colour pop, the decision becomes clear it was the right choice for now,” Ms Kilby said.
“We are trying to step away from a building that has a stigma of being abandoned to a building that is fresh, modern, has a future use and is well-loved.”
Messages continue to flow in.
“It’s a constant reminder that this building belongs to Dubbo and I am simply a custodian in its lifetime,” Ms Kilby said.