Three professionals with strong bonds are pushing forward on the restoration of The Exchange Clock Tower at Dubbo.
Building owner and engineer Jillian Kilby, builder David Grattan and designer Sally Taylor met on the Macquarie Street site this week.
They started to map out the internal makeover, "while still respecting the heritage bones", Ms Kilby said.
They have climbed into the roof space, chosen flooring, laid out spaces and with the big decisions out of the way, they will start the renovation.
Ms Kilby bought the prominent but unoccupied 1880s-era building from Telstra in November. Her vision is for it to be another home for The Exchange, a community of start-up businesses.
The transformation of its exterior was unveiled in March.
The trio have in common a commitment to restoring The Exchange Clock Tower, but Ms Kilby said they also shared strong family ties.
Ms Taylor of S.T.UDIO SALLY TAYLOR is the lead designer for the project, and Ms Kilby's cousin's cousin.
The pair grew up spending time together including on the tennis court and at school.
Dubbo was put on the map for Ms Taylor by her grandmother, Wynn Freeth of Collie.
The designer grew up visiting the region a number of times each year to see her extended family in Collie.
Ms Taylor has designed hospitality and commercial spaces in Sydney, Dubai, Fiji, New York and now adds Dubbo to her list.
The Clock Tower is an iconic project for her because it is from the important portfolio of work by prominent Australian colonial architect, James Barnet, who also designed Sydney's GPO in Martin Place.
"I am so happy to be involved in this project, both from an architectural perspective and for what this space is going to provide business owners and start-ups in regional NSW," she said.
Cousins Mr Grattan and Ms Kilby have been posing for family photos under the Christmas tree since 1985.
John Grattan, the late dentist of Dubbo, was their grandfather, and Bonnie their grandmother.
With Mr Grattan being a builder and Ms Kilby an engineer, the two have been making regular phone calls to each other about project work for more than a decade.
Ten years from now, the three of us will pose for a photo under the Christmas tree inside the Clock Tower, knowing that our grandparents would have been so proud.Jillian Kilby
When the Clock Tower opportunity came about, the two jumped at the chance.
Mr Grattan owns Dubbo-based Grattan Constructions, and while he started his career building houses and custom fit-outs of commercial buildings, he is also established in the concrete world.
When Mr Grattan is on site, there is "a lot of laughter, a lot of new ideas, and when construction is underway, there is a lot of action".
"[David] is always thinking, when it happens it happens quickly and he is thinking about new ways to achieve the same result while being financially efficient," Ms Kilby said.
For Ms Kilby, it is a dream come true.
"Ten years from now, the three of us will pose for a photo under the Christmas tree inside the Clock Tower, knowing that our grandparents would have been so proud," she said.
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