This is all that was left of Choice Support Service after the fire gutted the Lady Mary Tce building that helped mental health patients last week.
This is all that was left of Choice Support Service after the fire gutted the Lady Mary Tce building that helped mental health patients last week. Craig Warhurst

Vulnerable history

THE loss of the heritage-listed Choice Services building at Lady Mary Tce and Amy St, which was destroyed by fire last week, was a "tragedy," according to National Trust Gympie Region chairman Bob Fredman.

Mr Fredman said it was unfortunate that timber buildings did show an attrition rate, with losses - often from fire - doing permanent damage to the region's character.

"In all towns like Gympie, with magnificent historic buildings, it is these buildings that give the town its charm.

"But we have to accept that old houses do have an attrition rate.

"They leave the world from time to time. Unfortunately, this means the character of many old towns is lost.

"We've just got to hope we can retain Gympie's character and not lose too many more. This building was of some importance because of its prominent location, especially with its front rooms facing the old railway station.

"It had one of the best examples of a period interior I've ever seen.

"It's a loss and we regret it, but we do have to deal with the fact this does happen.

"It is also tragic for the good work done there by Choice Support Service for mental health patients.

"The building and its use by Choice provided a good example of adaptive re-use, which gives buildings the chance to keep on being useful in roles other than those they were built for."

Other examples, he said, included the stone buildings at the Channon St end of Mary St, some now used as offices.

"It's a double tragedy that mental health services were affected this way by the loss of this significant and useful heritage building," he said.

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