In the attic at 31 Sturt Street, Australian inventor Henry Sutton spent his days experimenting.
He built a hydraulic lift in his father’s Sutton’s Music Store, designed and built a flying machine as a teenager, and installed a telephone system in the store two years before Alexander Graham Bell installed Australia’s first official phone system in Melbourne.
The attic is still there, but not open to the public until now thanks to virtual reality technology.
The attic is one of six sites included in the Ballarat ‘Up and Under’ guided digital tours of locations not generally open to the public.
The attic, underground shopfronts, cellars and tunnels under Sturt Street, and some of Ballarat’s tallest towers will come to life through virtual reality as part of Ballarat Heritage Weekend.
Virtual reality goggles will be available upstairs at the Town Hall and locations throughout the city will be marked so visitors can stop and explore the world under their feet.
See the video from Jolt Media.
Digital 3D video tours of Ballarat Town Hall, St Patrick’s Cathedral, the basement of the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute, part of the old Ballarat Gaol, tram 14 at the Tramway Museum have also been created giving Ballarat Heritage Weekend visitors a unique look at some of the city’s sights.
Jolt Media’s Matt Salter, who created the 3D tours, said getting in to some spaces had been a challenge, as had capturing images up to 30 second long.
“On the video tour we can go in to the town hall’s clock tower and look at the clock and its movements, or down in the basement of the BMI which is a fantastic space you don’t get to see,” he said.
Ballarat Heritage Weekend is on May 26 and 27. The full program is available at heritageweekend.com.au.