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Old Admiralty House

Florenz August Carl Bleeser, a postal official and botanist of increasing renown, bought this block and an adjoining one in 1931.

He erected his home on this one and established a small museum on the adjacent one, including designing and planting a garden with unusual trees, palms and orchids in a shadehouse. Bleeser died during World War II and the family did not return to Darwin. His garden existed when Old Admiralty House was moved to this site in 1951. The design, shadehouse and some of the original trees in the garden remain today. The house continued as the home of the most senior naval officer in the north until 1983. It suffered minor damage during Cyclone Tracy and was used as an art gallery and coffee shop until early 1993. The house is a good example of an amended Burnett "B" type tropical house, the grandest of a series of tropical designs by BCG Burnett. It is one of only two "B" type houses remaining in the Central Business District of Darwin.