Reid's Guest House needs help to repair classic ceiling

Uniting Care’s Steven Jones and Reid’s Guest House manager Warwick Smith below the coved ceiling.  PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

Uniting Care’s Steven Jones and Reid’s Guest House manager Warwick Smith below the coved ceiling. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

REID’S Guest House has welcomed Ballarat and its visitors for the best part of 120 years.

Now, the iconic guest house is asking for a return favour to restore its classic ceiling artwork.

UnitingCare philanthropy and corporate networks officer Steven Jones said the restoration of the ceiling would cost $55,000 and UnitingCare, which manages the house, was appealing for public assistance and support.

“People don’t want to see a part of Ballarat’s history lost forever,” he said.

“We are more than happy for people to come through and have a look.”

The coved ceiling at the top of the stairwell is decorated with hand-painted scenes of reclining women and cherubs.

Substantial cracks through the ceiling are visible and the outer timber panels are rotting. 

The ceiling is open to natural light by 12 glass panels, of which are six of the original panels with hand-painted bird motifs.

The remaining panels have been boarded up or replaced with frosted lazing. 

“This is one of the last operating coffee houses in rural Victoria and it presents a great depiction of how coffee houses were run,” Mr Jones said.

“This is goldfields architecture.”

Reid’s Guest House manager Warwick Smith said the character of the building was a tourist drawcard.

“We have tourists who come to and appreciate the artistic nature of the work,” Mr Smith said.

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