Architecture, Deaf Children Australia, Melbourne, Photography

The Stuff of Fairy Tales

The Tower, I’m not going to lie, is probably one of my favourite places in the Bluestone that belongs to Deaf Children Australia.  Every time I go I like any excuse to get up there.  I also think as a child I would have been enchanted by it.  Towers were in Fairy Tales, it was where the magic happened, or so I thought as a child.

The Stairs on the OutsideAs you get onto the top floor, you will see this small staircase, if the door at the top was closed, you would wonder where they go.  They are small and if you are short, like me, or a child, it is perfect.  Everything about it seems to be for a child.  Deaf or not, all children would have loved this tower.

More Stairs to Go UpThe steps inside the door that go up to the rest of the tower are well worn, they have had many people going up and down them over the years.  I suspect they are in original condition.

Looking up into the TowerAs you start going up there, you can start to see what is up here.  There are princess windows, I’m sure that is what they are called, and if they aren’t they need to be renamed.

EnteringA perfect day for fun in the tower.  A perfect place to hide from the world.  I know if I was a child and I had access to this, my dolls would be up there and I would play there all day, if I was allowed.  It is the right size for a child to play princesses in, don’t you think?

Out Onto the RoofOne of the first photos I showed you from this place was looking out this window, but it was showing the name scratched into the roof.  This time it is to show you the view out of one of the windows.  You might be able to see the name there as well.  How lovely is the sky?

Looking Over the GardenThis is the view out the front.  You can see the memorial garden below and the fountain that was donated by the founder, FJ Rose.  Part of the reason for showing you these images, this one and the previous one is that they also highlight some of the deterioration within the building.  The window frames are rotting.  I don’t know that the windows could be opened anymore.

Though it would be normal to see it in this condition if Sleeping Beauty had been up there for a hundred years, or Rupunzel was waiting for her hair to grow long enough for someone to climb up and save her.  I want magic to be there in the tower.  I would love to see it restored and turned into a princesses tower, how amazing would that be.  I think they would need a lot more money for that.  Maybe I should donate some.

If you feel the same way as me, or you would just like to see the building restored then you can donate money toward the restoration by Donating Here.

I thought, I might do a short gallery now of all the images I have done on the building so far, just in case you missed some.

I had forgotten about some of these, so I hope you enjoy seeing them again.


  1. Ahhhhhhhhh! This has been worth waiting for…a beautiful walk through a fairy tale castle…I’m sharing this on facebook where it might get more views… :-)

    • Haha, I was worried, it might be too silly, I hope it gets peoples imaginations going, certainly got mine going.
      Thanks Bastet.

  2. Maybe you should write a fairy tale to go with all the photos? One can certainly imagine all sorts of things looking at these great photos.

    • Alas I’m not a writer, but maybe one of the writers that follow the blog might do it, are you a writer?

      • I am a writer.. but, I am better at writing non-fiction and poetry than I am at writing fiction….

        But, I bet you could find a collaborator who’d work some magic tales to go with your images…

      • That’s a shame, you come up with the idea, and then watch others do it. Great idea, maybe I should put a call out.

      • I’d be bad at it… the fiction I’ve written is much too dark… there’d be nightmarish stuff in the towers…

        but, you should ask around your artist friends.. i bet you’d find a writer who’d work with the photos and come up with a great tale! You can thank me in the book’s dedication :-)

      • The photo of the phone on the wall is my favorite… it’s just creepy and ghostly enough …

      • You just made me realise that i have missed one of the photos, there should be two of the phone. Two different phones.

  3. All of your shots are impeccable, but that Staircase of the Main… Wow. Brilliant. There’s something about the way the light from the stained glass window is playing off the banister and illuminating the wall that gives it a surreal sort of HDR-like quality without being HDR at all. At least, that’s my impression. That is a gorgeous photograph!

    • Thank you, that is nice of you to say, though, am I going to ruin it for you by telling you that it is a HDR image?

      • Not at all. That’s probably one of the best HDR images I’ve ever seen. Now knowing that it is, it’s executed so well that it’s hard to tell (at least for me) no matter how long I look at it. This may be a bit much, but I’d say it’s perfect. I’ve tried HDR techniques, and I haven’t produced anything anywhere near as awesome as that, nor have I seen anything from anyone else. I guess what I’m saying is, if there’s a “Goldilocks standard”, being just right, this photograph meets it with no problem whatsoever. Really. Perfect.

      • Thank you, that is wonderful of you to say. I have worked a lot to make my HDR images look as natural as possible, so you see what your eye sees. I’m still learning, but I am getting better. Nearly every image on my blog is HDR, it is rare that they aren’t. Though lately I’ve been trying not to do them always. Sometimes they just don’t work.

      • I know what you mean. Yep, painfully aware of that (I don’t think anything I do using HDR ever works, but I’m learning, some). Well, I most definitely admire your skill and I think you’ve definitely achieved the natural quality to great effect. Sorry if I’m gushing. I just really, really like that photo.

      • That is okay, thank you for liking it so much, It is nice to produce work that others admire.

  4. It looks a bit creepy at first. Then the sky and the view outside lift the mood! Nice blog!

    • It was hard to know which image to put up first, so I decided to start at the bottom. Thank you.

  5. Some gallery here, Leanne – a bit Gothic over your large photos … my pick has to be the telephone and the red door of course. Looking up – is another one, maybe because it’s so bright. And looking out was my favorite last you displayed it. You are so talent *smile You’re so amazing with light and darkness …

    • You are too kind Viveka, but thank you very much. I’m doing some workshops on Photoshop, so I can’t wait to see what I can do after them.

      • I had photoshop on trail, but it was too fancy for me … but I know it can make magic *smile .. so keep on making magic.
        By the way I mad a post about that wedding party yesterday – it happen in 2002.

      • Thanks Viveka, I will see how I go, photoshop is a big learning curve, but I am learning heaps now, well not more, but more details, if that makes sense. Do you think I say “does that make sense” too much.

        I will have to look for it, it will be in my inbox, I am a couple of days behind at the moment, but will get to it soon.

  6. I can see why this place appeals to you Leanne and its rather nice to get your personal thoughts on it too . Wonderful images that capture the sense of history with sadness and loss . The ‘First Entry’ I was intrigued to make out that the age of becoming deaf and dumb was 4yrs for the little person … and the reason being ‘ a fright caused by seeing Mother … and no matter how hard I squint I can’t make it out …..

    • It was caused by seeing her mother mad, that is what it says, we know that it wasn’t so, she probably had measles, or scarlet fever or something like that. I suppose there was quite a bit of ignorance back then. It has been lovely to photograph, I need to get back and do more outdoor images, the only problem is that if I go during the week, getting home is really hard because of the traffic. I might see if I can go on the weekend. Thank you.

      • Thanks Leanne for that ! yes it is interesting what appears on old records through lack of knowledge.
        Look foward to more images as soon as the traffic clears :-)

      • I really want to do some sunset shots, I think that is when the light will be best, so I am going to see if I can get some this weekend, you have inspired me, thanks. :)

  7. Palimpsest says

    I love those wooden, other side of the door, stairs.

  8. hutchphotography2020 says

    A wonderful assortment of shots. A great tour. Thanks, Leanne.

    • Yes, they would have a ball, I wish I had had somewhere like to play when I was little.

  9. 1annecasey says

    Oooh wow – another amazing series of images. You do genius things with light! : )))

    • Thanks Anne, there will be plenty more images from that building to come, I just thought it would be nice to put them all together for a change. I might do that once a month.

  10. Oh, Leanne, I really love this building…and the tower room is quite endearing–your images brought back so many childhood memories of fairy tales, and wishes coming true, all of which were ‘my world’ as the ‘only girl’ in the family!

    Thanks so for posting these images…and I sincerely hope many are donating for the building’s renovation. Replacing window frames alone will cost many thousands, and though money is ‘tight’ all over the world, I hope there is one Australian billionaire who could/would kindly take over the financing of this project.

    History needs to be learned, and remembered, in order for Mankind to survive.

    • I think the tower and the basement are for kids dreams and wishes, they are what fairy tales are about. I was the same, I only had brothers.
      I hope they are too, it is a lot of money they need to restore the building. So it will be nice if they can get the money they need. It is fun going there,planning what I want to take and then processing them. I will have a lot more, I hope. I really need to start getting more of the outside of the building. Plans are afoot.

      Yes, you are absolutely correct, we do need to remember history.
      Thanks 1000

      • Have a lovely day over there, Leanne…your plans for the exterior are really going to be fantastic!

        BTW, on another post, I forgot to comment re: your ‘white kitchen’–which was fabulously done, and so very creative an idea! Mon-U-Mental project, I’d say…and extremely well and beautifully executed!

      • You have a pleasant evening. Thank you.

        It was a monumental task, took me months to do and put together. I was really happy with it in the end. So that was great.

      • Thank you 1000, I have tried quite a few things, and settled on photography. I had to give up the work that was in the kitchen because my hands couldn’t handle it. I have tendenitis in both hands, wrists, elbows and on a bad day my shoulders. The molds were the hardest, having to put my hands into freezing cold water was hell. The work behind it was so hard. I got good results, but never sold anything, and it cost too much to make. I am so much happier with photography.

      • Ah, tendinitis, which I also have, in addition to all the other crap! And I agree, Leanne…photography is ‘easier’ on the body, and processing such as we do is more brain/eye-oriented…still tiring, but a better sort of tired…and for me, a chance to keep up my level of creative juices!

  11. Cynthia says

    Love the light falling down the staircases.

  12. a regal lady the building is, with her princess windows and fairy tale castle, love it all…it is interesting to see how some areas don’t appear to be in nearly as much decay as others.

    • That is very true Heather, some areas are worse than others, the main entrance inside has faired very well, though the outside not so well.
      She is very regal, I like that word, thank you.

  13. Very cool series of photographs – I can see why it draws you into exploring those steps.

    • Thank you Mary, The tower is so wonderful, I need to move things though when I take photos. It is such a great space.

  14. I thought of “little” Harry Potter when I saw the stairway. I could just picture him living under there. I loved the red door. I have a “thing” for doors and have taken several photos of doors, too. I always wonder who passed through them and for what reason.

    • Doors are something that seem to fascinate a lot of people, funny that windows don’t seem to, well not as much. Perhaps it is because of what you said, the idea of who has been in and out of them. Thank you Bev

    • It is wonderful, I think being allowed to photograph it any time I want wonderful too, means I can really work out what I want. Thank you.

  15. artscottnet says

    Always wonderful photos and a storyline to go with them. I’d think it would be an awesome journey capturing these.

    • Thank you, that is wonderful. I hope to get a lot more yet, it is a big job, soon it will be about looking at the restorations as they happen.

  16. Landscape photographers often have a specific picture composed in their mind and then go out to capture it.

    Time after time, they re-learn that you photograph what nature provides. Your images today prove that point.

    • That is a really interesting point. When I go out to take specific photos, I am always disappointed, because I never get what I want. I have learned to have an idea of what I want, but not have the picture in my head, just look and see.
      Thank you that is an interesting idea.

  17. Great series of images. Your treatment with HDR and deep, rich colours really add to the effect.

    • Thank you Noeline, I can see some images need improving, but more they need retaking, and it is fantastic that I can do that.

  18. funny just hiked with my kindy class to the top of our old school’s tower today. we pretended we were in a fairy tale castle and they loved the adventure. towers are magic.

    • That is such a coincidence, how funny, so they loved it, I knew it, I knew kids would love it. Thanks for telling me.

  19. Beautiful Leanne! I hope the building can be renovated! Kids would love a fairy tale “castle”. The idea of getting someone to write tales to go with the pictures is great! Would probably help the fund raising efforts…let’s see if we can do something about it!

  20. Well you took my breath away with this one…
    A wonderful post and breath taking magical images… the stuff of fairy tales ;)
    Beautiful old building.
    Inspiring!!! You go girl!! :D

    • Thank you Robyn, what a wonderful compliment. It is a beautiful old building, and quite unique to, especially when you think about the history.
      I will go, haha, :)

    • … The stories they could tell. I agree, it would be wonderful if they could. Thank you.

  21. Another lovely old building, and nice to see that this one has hopes or plans for restoration.

    My sister also shares a love for abandoned buildings, sharing photos she has found and writing poems and a short story about them on her blog. She also recently joined Pinterest and told me about the category there for photos of abandoned buildings. So a search for that subject turns up hundreds of photos with links to the Flickr, Deviantart and other original sites where the photographers can be found. Here is a link that will take you to that search result on Pinterest
    Just thought you might find it of interest. :)

    • I think abandoned buildings is a very popular topic for photographers. Thanks for the link. I have to admit, I’ve stayed about pinterest because I don’t like how many photos people have taken from it with no reference to where the photos came from. It seems to be a very easy place to steal stuff. I could be wrong, but I see so many photos on blogs that have come from there with no credit, annoys me a little. I will check the link out, thanks again.

  22. Pingback: Flash Fiction: The Staircase | Bastet and Sekhmet

  23. Pingback: Just a Note: 29 July 2013 | Bastet and Sekhmet

Comments are closed.