Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Kenmore Is Future Proofed; Preservation Plans Are Revealed for Old Building

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Kenmore Is Future Proofed; Preservation Plans Are Revealed for Old Building

Article excerpt

Byline: Leighton Smith Leighton.Smith@capnews.com.au

ONE of Rockhampton's most iconic buildings is in the midst of winding back the clock to its glory days.

Damaged by weather events and renovations over the years, plans are currently under way to preserve and reshape the heritage listed property Kenmore House back to its original state.

Constructed in 1894 on the grounds of the future Mater Misericordiae Hospital at 31 Ward Street, The Range, the iconic mansion was regarded as one of the finest homes, not only in Queensland, but Australia.

The lavish two-storey house was designed by local architect, James Flint, on behalf of prominent local John Ferguson who retired as a builder and increased his wealth as a director in the Mount Morgan Mining Company and had served in politics as Rockhampton's mayor and in other representative roles.

Kenmore House had been intended to be a government house for a new state of the Central Queensland region as part of an unsuccessful bid to separate from the (then) colony of Queensland.

When Ferguson died in 1906, the house was bought by Pastoralist Stuart MacDonald and his family, who lived there until selling the house to the Sisters of Mercy in 1915 for A[pounds sterling]4,250 ($8,500), to be used as Rockhampton's first hospital.

In 1940, a maternity building was built adjoining the house to the west to the design of architects, Donoghue and Fulton.

After 1959, the first floor of Kenmore was also converted to wards and nursing accommodation and, since the opening of a new building adjoining to the east in 1985, Kenmore has been used for hospital administration and support services as well as consulting rooms.

In present times, Kenmore House has been recognised for its cultural and historical significance with a Conservation Management Plan put in place to conserve its meaningful and rich heritage. …

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