Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has this week called for tenders for the construction of an interpretive shelter in Queens Park. The new structure will be located adjacent to the site of the historic Queens Park Conservatory which existed from 1891 to 1979.
TRC Parks and Recreation Portfolio Leader Cr Joe Ramia said this project is part of the Stage 6 upgrade works being undertaken in line with the Queens Park Master Plan.
“The new interpretive centre will remember a significant structure that helped to form Toowoomba’s Garden City reputation,” Cr Ramia said.
“The site of the old ‘hot-house’ was excavated by members of a University of Southern Queensland archaeological dig when the outline and remnants of the former structure were discovered. Students investigated and located the footings of the former glasshouse.
“The interpretive shelter will be a lightweight structure that will function as a visitor information guide and shade structure.
“The design will incorporate the form of the former conservatory in a new framework. The concept for the design was inspired by the idea of ‘honouring’ the demolished building.
“The walls inside the shelter will feature interpretive panels with photographs and text detailing the history of Queens Park.
“The new shelter will incorporate an excavated area to allow visitors to view the original footings of the former conservatory.”
The project is a joint initiative with the Queensland Government. The Stage 6 project, that includes the Botanic Gardens Interpretive Shelter, is projected to cost $2.4 million and is scheduled for completion by June 2020.
For more information on the project go to http://www.tr.qld.gov.au/our-region/major-projects/environment-community/13791-queens-park-upgrades
From the mid-1890s, a range of different structures were built in the Botanical Gardens, including a curator's cottage, kiosk, bandstand, the Alfred Thomas Memorial (moved from the intersections of Margaret and Ruthven Streets in 1891) and the hothouse/conservatory constructed at the Campbell Street entrance in the late 1800s.
During the 1950s to the 1970s, development in the park saw a dramatic overhaul of the existing facilities and the replacement of many of the earlier buildings. An amenities block was built, and the municipal baths were replaced with a garden and toilet facilities.
One of the most notable changes that occurred during the 1970s was the replacement of the timber fence on the Lindsay and Campbell Street sides of the Botanic Gardens with a low sandstone footwall. In addition to these changes, the 19th Century kiosk, bush-house and bandstand were removed from the park (Queensland Heritage Register website, accessed 18 July 2015).