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Johnstone Shire Hall

70 Rankin Street, Innisfail

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Johnstone Shire Hall (July 2015); Heritage Branch Staff

Johnstone Shire Hall (July 2015)

Johnstone Shire Hall - rear of hall (2008); EHP

Johnstone Shire Hall - rear of hall (2008)

Johnstone Shire Hall entrance (July 2015); Heritage Branch Staff

Johnstone Shire Hall entrance (July 2015)

Johnstone Shire Hall foyer (July 2015); Heritage Branch Staff

Johnstone Shire Hall foyer (July 2015)

Innisfail, the Art Deco capital of North Queensland, has many significant buildings, including its shire hall. The town was established in 1881, but devastating floods in February 1913 followed by a cyclone in 1918, mean only a few structures survive from the town’s early days. The first shire hall burnt down in January 1913 and a new one was built; however it too burnt down in 1932. Having been the centre of the town’s theatrical productions, residents were keen for the new hall to include a theatre. Delays in securing funding saw an escalation in costs, and ultimately, day-labour of local unemployed people was used in the construction. The two-storey reinforced concrete building was designed by Cairns architects Hill and Taylor and built by the Van Leeuwen brothers in 1938. Examples of other concrete or masonry buildings in Innisfail, many built by the Van Leeuwens, include the water tower, the hospital, the Catholic Church, and the 1923 Jubilee Bridge. After cyclone Larry in 2006, the building underwent significant repairs and restoration through to 2009, and was once again elevated to one of the most striking buildings in North Queensland. The Cassowary Coast Regional Council currently occupies the building.

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Coordinates: -17.52306381, 146.03016019

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023