Objects of Substance- Front Fence

The White Picket Fence

The front of the School in 1926

In recent years, it has almost become cliché to talk about Girls Grammar’s front white picket fence in metaphorical terms. In Year 7, new students walk through the gates on Gregory Terrace to an unknown, but special world. Six years later, the Year 12s walk up Gehrmann Lane and out of the Main Campus to a world ‘beyond the picket fence’. Is it a border, a barrier, or a symbol of our presence? While it does provide a sense of security and stability, most Grammar girls would say that its expanse from Kalinga Avenue (or what previous generations of students called ’no man’s land’) to Victoria Park announces our sense of place on Gregory Terrace. A place we have inhabited since 1884 because the original picket fence was constructed at the same time as the Gailey-designed Main Building. It stood for more than 60 years. Over the years, the Board of Trustees regularly consulted architect, Colin Trapp, about repairs or renovations to facilities at Girls Grammar. In May 1957, Mr Trapp reported to the Board that the front fence was in a dilapidated state and in need of repair. The Board asked him to investigate the repair or replacement of the fence and, at the July Board meeting, Mr Trapp supplied the Board with suggestions for a number of different suitable fences and their estimated costs. Although a new picket fence had been costed to replace the old one, Mr Trapp, in his wisdom, considered a galvanised tubular frame with chain wire infill as the best proposition.

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