Renovations return country music building to former glory
LIKE a plump cherry atop a cake, the Australian Institute of Country Music building's renovations were officially completed yesterday with the installation of a vented tower.
The vented tower returns the Channon St building to its former historic splendour.
The tower is a replica of the original, supported by a lightweight aluminium frame, not seen on the building since it was removed in the late 70s.
Helping restore the vented tower to prime position on top of the building was a partnership with SkillCentred Gympie.
SkillCentred Gympie CEO Gerry Crotty savoured the moment the building returned to its historic profile.
A crane resting on the Channon St footpath manoeuvred the body of the tower into place before hoisting the cap into place.
Workmen suspended in a bucket then added the finishing touch of a wooden turned knob.
"I've been waiting for the tower to be returned to the building and I'm happy to see it done (yesterday)," Mr Crotty said.
"I believe it makes the building; it restores the character and charm. We can now call it truly finished.
"Thanks to SkillCentred and all concerned."
Mr Crotty's enthusiasm was matched by National Trust of Australia Gympie president Bob Fredman.
"Gympie's heritage is important to its future," he said.
"It gives us our unique identity and makes it a place we are proud to call home.
"The completion of the restoration... is another step along that path."
The AICM headquarters was formally the Old Lands Office and Gympie's first court house, constructed in 1876.
As Gympie's first substantial government building, it was constructed at a cost of 1468 pounds.
In today's terms, the relative value (or purchasing power) is 120,500 pounds, or $236,476.61 in Australian currency.
The building first accommodated the court house and mining warden's office, serving as a court house until 1901.
Since that time, it has housed various state government offices.
AICM continues to write the building's long history as home to Gympie country music talent, such as X Factor star Caitlyn Shadbolt.