Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Best Collection of Art Deco in State Has Gem Restored; Iconic City Building Back to Its Former glory.Emily Smith Reports

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Best Collection of Art Deco in State Has Gem Restored; Iconic City Building Back to Its Former glory.Emily Smith Reports

Article excerpt

IN THE town with the best collection of art deco buildings in Queensland, the Pioneer Shire Council building was always the centrepiece.

But despite a tumultuous recent history, the iconic building is now looking better than ever.

Mackay Regional Council Mayor Deirdre Comerford said that after a year-long refurbishment the building would be reopened tomorrow.

"I'm very excited that it's back to its former glory," Cr Comerford said.

"All the original features are back and they're beautiful."

The building was built in 1935 by Frank and Bill Guthrie on the site where Mackay's first pub, the Union Hotel, had previously been.

The facade was designed by Mackay architect Harold Brown.

Pioneer Shire Council picked up their new headquarters for A[pounds sterling]2337.

"That's what money could buy you in those days," Cr Comerford said.

"In the early 1900s and into the war years Mackay region had continued economic growth. It was this period of growth which drove the council of the day to build the new premises."

The building served as Pioneer Shire Council administration and council chambers from March 1935, when the council moved from its earlier premises across the street, until it was amalgamated with Mackay City Council in 1994.

At the time, Gordon White was Pioneer Shire Council chairman and Pat Crompton was shire clerk. They subsequently become mayor and CEO of the amalgamated council and each will attend the reopening.

Following amalgamation the building continued its service to the community, housing many support groups.

In 2004 it was home to the Mackay Eisteddfod Association and the Drug Rehabilitation Action Group.

By 2008 the RACQ, Anglicare and Relationships Australia had all been tenants of the building.

Despite its significance, in May 2008 squatters had moved in and trashed the interior.

In 2005, Mackay Regional Council took steps to sell the building as they had "no use for it".

"The last council signed a contract to sell it but it was conditional on the purchaser winning a tender to erect some offices," Cr Comerford said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.