Art deco splendour revived in $1.3 million City Hall restoration

Published on 31 January 2019


The spectacular art-deco reception room in Rockhampton’s heritage listed town hall is on track to be restored to its former glory thanks to $1.3 million in Works for Queensland funding from the Palaszczuk Government.

Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe was in Rockhampton to inspect the restoration which includes removing the mezzanine floor to return the reception room to its original state.

“I am delighted to see this historic grand old building emerge from demolition works and the repairs start on some of the fine heritage features,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“This building is such an important part of Rockhampton’s history and was added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 2003 so it is pleasing to see it brought back to its original condition.

“I congratulate Mayor Margaret Strelow and the Rockhampton Regional Council on this vital project in the Works for Queensland program which is estimated to create or sustain a total of 27 regional jobs.”

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said The Works for Queensland funding which has been used for the restoration of the reception room is one way that state government can invest in Rockhampton and our community.

“I am advised that the Council Chambers in Bolsover Street was constructed in the mid-1900s and that the reception room has previously seen design changes with this restoration being a significant transition to showcase the earlier architectural essence of the building," Mr O'Rourke said.

“This restoration project will give Rockhampton Regional Council wonderful opportunities to hold formal functions, for example, civic ceremonies, special VIP dignitary events, awards presentations and many other celebrations."

Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow praised the State Government’s Works for Queensland program which will allow this heritage space to become a venue for civic functions once again.

“This has been a very special renovation for City Hall and I thank the State Government for funding this project which has not only restored the stunning architecture, but also its purpose for our community,” Mayor Strelow said.

“I also commend Hutchinson Builders, who originally built City Hall in 1941, for the quality restoration and craftsmanship that has gone into the reception room.

“The removal of the mezzanine level has revealed the original mouldings and stunning glass windows which, with the original parquetry floor and timberwork, gives this room real prominence. We have also replicated the original stage.”

Labelled as the Mayoress Reception Room on the original plans for City Hall, Mayor Strelow said that the room, which would seat between 100 and 150 people, would be a valuable space for medium sized meetings and in-house training needs. 

“We will also be able to use the room for citizenship ceremonies, civic events and for visiting delegations, much as it was first intended,” Mayor Strelow said.

“The room served for a time as the City's art gallery before it was divided into a number of spaces to serve as offices. It will continue to double as our Local Disaster Centre - but with improved technology and a more generous space.”

The reception room revamp is expected to be complete in mid-February.

Rockhampton Regional Council has been allocated a total of $27.218 million over three rounds of Works for Queensland funding which, so far, has created or sustained more than 560 local jobs.