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State Government Offices

Place Details
Place ID 601385
Registration Type State Heritage
Place Name State Government Offices
Alternative Name Former Public Curator's Office
Place Classification Built
Place Category Government Administration
Place Type Government Offices
Themes 7 Maintaining order / 7.2 Government and public administration
Register Entry Date 13/01/1995

Address 419 Flinders Street
Town / Suburb TOWNSVILLE
Post Code 4810

Cultural Heritage Significance
Principal Period
of Significance
1920s (fabric)
Criterion A The State Government Offices [Former Public Curator's Office] in Townsville is one of the earliest examples of state government offices built outside Brisbane which reflects the prominence of Townsville as a major regional centre in Queensland in the 1920s.
Criterion D Townsville State Government Offices [Former Public Curator's Office], erected in 1928, is significant as a good example of a building designed by the Department of Public Works in the 1920s influenced by classical revival styles.
Criterion E The building forms a prominent landmark on the corner of Flinders and Stanley Streets and contributes to the streetscape value of Flinders Street which is characterised by buildings of similar scale and form.

History The State Government Offices were built in 1928 by the Queensland Department of Public Works to accommodate various departmental offices in Townsville in one central location. Townsville experienced its first phase of major growth when gold was discovered in the nearby town of Ravenswood, in 1868 soon after Townsville was proclaimed a town in 1866. Townsville became the leading regional centre in north Queensland reflected by the construction of the State Government Offices, one of the earliest examples of purpose built offices for state government departments. The State Government Offices was constructed under the supervision of the Queensland Department of Pubic Works in 1928. The chief architect at the time was Andrew Baxter Leven who was employed by the Department from 1910 to 1951, also associated with the design of the building was another Works Department employee, FL Jones. The building is typical of many other government buildings of the time including the Cairns Court House, City Council building and Post Office, Cairns Post, Maryborough Government Offices and Maryborough Town Hall. The offices were designed to accommodate a further storey above the entablature. Various State Departments were accommodated within the building including State Insurance, Public Curator, State Children and Health Departments, Titles, Stamp Duties, Lands and Marine, Machinery and Mines. Provisions were also made for the installation of a lift in the event of the third storey being built. The building was designed to ensure adequate lighting and natural ventilation.

Description The State Government Offices in Townsville is a two storeyed masonry building with a basement. Externally, the building features a rock-faced granite plinth and cement rendered facade. The main entrance, on Flinders Street, is surmounted by a broken pediment with a crest supported on pairs of engaged square fluted columns, and is centrally located within a two storey colonnade. The ground floor storey has an ornate concrete balustrade whilst the upper storey a simple wrought iron balustrade. The corner bays of the building feature colossal order stylised ionic columns. The facade of the building is surmounted by a deep entablature, crowned by a parapet. Internally, the main entrance doors open into a vestibule from which a flight of marble steps, flanked by a pair of ionic columns, leads into the main corridor.

Element Name State Government Offices
Designer Name Leven, Andrew Baxter
Style Classicism
Design Period 1919 - 1930s Interwar period
Builder Name Queensland Department of Public Works
Construction Period 1928 - 1928
Construction Method Load-bearing brick
Fabric (Exterior Structure) Brick - rendered

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Last updated: 15 March 2013

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