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If walls could talk - these ones have a story

TALE TO TELL: The historic Old Gympie Post Office in Gympie is part of the city's soul.
TALE TO TELL: The historic Old Gympie Post Office in Gympie is part of the city's soul. Renee Albrecht

THE sandstone former government buildings that put the stamp of the British Empire on the gold rush town of Gympie in the late 19th century are not often up for sale.

An even greater rarity is buildings that have increased in value so much that they are now worth about 700,000 times their 1980s purchase price.

The 700,000 figure is not a misprint. It is part of the history of a building which many say should never have passed out of public hands, as it did about 30 years ago.

The Old Post Office building on the corner of Channon and Duke St is part of Gympie's historical soul.

Along with the equally gorgeous Old Bank Building on the Nash and Channon Streets corner and the Lands Office building up the road it was part of an impressive sandstone and brick administrative precinct which once formed the big end of town.

It was built between 1878 and 1880, when the gold rush was only 13 years old, at a cost of 3875 pounds.

Former Gympie mayor Mick Venardos remembers the 1980s deal with Canberra which saw his council buy the building for $1.

He also remembers with some bitterness the fact that a subsequent council sold it.

"It sold for $20,000, then with a lick of paint re-sold for $60,000.

"Then it was worth $460,000 or so and the council leased it back for $40,000 a year," he recalled.

One thing he is happy about is news that, through all the drama and politics of its long and impressive life, the building's beautiful redwood staircase still survives.

Now Ray White Commercial's Tracey Ryan has listed it for private treaty with an asking price of $700,000. Or it can be leased for $42,000 a year (plus outgoings and GST).

The two-level heritage-listed building is on an elevated 315sq m site.

Topics:  gympie council gympie history gympie property gympie real estate

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