Join us for a free 30-minute tour of the art deco-inspired Innisfail Shire Hall.
The shire hall is a heritage-listed building and the jewel in the crown of the Art Deco Capital of Australia.
History and features
The Innisfail Shire Hall, also known as the Johnstone Shire Hall, was built in 1938. It is an imposing structure with a grand art deco façade that has dominated the Innisfail skyline for more than 70 years.
The hall features a distinctive and elaborate symmetrical façade in the inter-war modernist style. Its parapet is divided into three bays with towers and art deco ornamental panels. The building has a cantilever canopy with original art deco ornaments and the first floor balcony features a wrought iron balustrade.
The hall has its original semi-circular arched street level openings with art deco leadlight panels.
Now servicing the region as shire hall offices and the town's civic centre, the Innisfail Shire Hall was originally built by the Van Leeuwen Brothers and designed by prominent North Queensland architects Messrs Hill and Taylor as part of an employment relief scheme during the Great Depression.
The council's initial estimate for the new building was 12,000 pounds but by the time it was completed in late 1938 the cost had risen to 54,725 pounds - the equivalent to about $4.6 million these days.
The hall is the fourth to be built on the same site and its reinforced concrete structure was heavily influenced by a cyclone that destroyed many of the town's timber buildings in 1918, and by the art deco style that was popular in the 1930s.
In 2006 Cyclone Larry damaged the hall but it was able to be renovated and restored to its former glory.
There are free weekly tours of the Innisfail Shire Hall on Tuesdays from 10.30am between May and October. To make a booking ring 0428 228 962 or visit the Innisfail Visitor Information I-Van beside the Bruce Highway in ANZAC Memorial Park.
The Innisfail Shire Hall tour is also a stepping stone to a self-guided art deco tour of the Innisfail township.