Heritage listing for Art Deco loo
GYMPIE’S Town Hall reserve complex, comprising some of the city’s most historic buildings, including a rare toilet block design, has been entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.
The Gympie Town Hall reserve complex includes the Gympie Town Hall, established in 1890, and smaller classically-inspired buildings – the Maternal and Child Welfare Building and the art deco toilet block, established in the 1920s.
The men’s toilet block, on the corner of Mellor and Alma Sts is one of only two of its kind in Queensland and is considered a state icon.
Queensland Heritage Council deputy chair, Chris Buckley, said the historic complex bordered by Caledonian Hill, Mellor and Alma Sts, demonstrated the evolution of Queensland’s history.
“The Town Hall is a product of the town’s gold mining and later agricultural settlement,” he said. “It represents the endurance and continued importance of Gympie to Queensland as a highly profitable gold mining town.
“It is a substantial two-storey building with a dominant clock tower located in a prominent position near the centre of the town.
“Its interior includes the council chamber, meeting room, staircase, honour roll and original offices.
“The hall’s extension in the late 1930s reflects Gympie’s evolution into the major service town of an economically important dairy and agricultural district for Queensland.”
Mr Buckley said the former Maternal and Child Welfare service opened in the complex in 1926 following the introduction of the Maternity Act 1922 and serviced the district for 66 years.
“The former baby clinic is representative of Queensland’s response to the Australia-wide endeavour to reduce infant mortality and improve maternal health during the 1920s,” he said.
“It is one of 10 standard design baby clinics constructed in regional Queensland which were funded from the state-operated lottery, the Golden Casket.
“The integrity of the building has been retained including the original room layout, along with most of the interwar features of the building.
“The Art Deco Men’s Toilet Block in Mellor St is one of only two known toilet blocks in this architectural style in Queensland.”
The Gympie Town Hall reserve complex was identified as part of the statewide heritage survey, being carried out by the Department of Environment and Resource Management’s Heritage Branch.
The Queensland Heritage Council is the state’s independent adviser on heritage matters and determines what places are entered in the Queensland Heritage Register. Places that are entered in the Heritage Register are considered of importance to Queensland’s history and are protected under heritage legislation.