The Federation Heritage Housing of Toowoomba, Queensland
Table of Contents
The Federation Heritage Housing of Toowoomba, Queensland
Come and join us at Toowoomba Open House
Boyce Estate and Gardens
Gladstone House and Cottage
Oak Lodge and Spreydon
St James Parish Hall
St Lukes Church Hall
Toowoomba Railway Station
Wislet (Former Wesley Hospital)
Other Homes of Federation Style around Toowoomba
|Apsley in Toowoomba’s eastern suburbs, a home that provides a wonderful example of the city’s early 20th century grandeur. The home was built in 1908 by William John Munro, reportedly named after Apsley Falls in New South Wales where he had honeymooned. William Munro lived at “Apsley” until his death in 1968.“Apsley” was built in the style of the large early house in Toowoomba. With a wide front verandah, a central hallway with decorative arches, polished timber floors, 12-foot ceilings, casement windows and VJ walls, it typifies the homes that well-to-do Toowoomba citizens built at this time. That style extends to the large front and side gardens, and the tennis court at the rear.|
(with thanks to the contributions of this web site)
Toowoomba Open House celebrates our local historic attractions, innovative architectural design and clever adaptive reuse of heritage treasures with buildings such as the Empire Theatre, City Hall, Vacy Hall, St Luke’s Church and the Masonic Centre open free to the public.
Toowoomba Open House is a free-of-charge event that invites visitors to opens the doors of public and private buildings and places of architectural, historical and/or environmental significance. The event has run successfully in Brisbane for four years, Maryborough for two years and for many years in various international cities including London, New York, Dublin and Melbourne to name a few.
Festival of Architecture every October
||Town / Suburb
Ascot House is significant as one of the largest and most elaborate of all the grand residences of Toowoomba. Ascot follows the pattern of the construction of substantial houses on the Downs, demonstrating the development of the Darling Downs from a sparsely populated pastoral region to one of prosperity.
Ascot House is significant for its association with prominent Toowoomba architect William Hodgen, who designed 1899 alterations to the stable and kitchen.
History Ascot House, a single-storey timber residence with an attached two-storeyed timber extension, referred to as a folly, has been called the largest and most extensive of the grand Toowoomba residences.
|State Heritage||15 Newmarket Street
It is thought that William Beit named the house Ascot, reputedly because of his interest in horse racing.
In the 1890s, Beit added a two-storeyed extension with a large billiard room, designed by Harry Marks to the original U-shaped house. The extension was a very elaborate design, suggestive of the superstructure of a ship, and was known as Beit’s Folly.
The Boyce Gardens Estate is a Heritage listed jewel in the crown of the University of Queensland. The vision for the future of this gem is to engage and educate the community and students for generations to come. Located in Toowoomba, the Garden City, the Gardens are extremely well placed to attract local, national and international attention from plant enthusiast and researchers.
|6 Range Street
Over the years the couple established a sunken garden (now the White Garden), a terraced flower garden, a western walk and shrubbery, a walled garden, lawns, rockeries and a thriving fruit and vegetable garden. Margaret experimented with new species, trying dozens of varieties of daffodils, iris and lilies. As she kept careful records, her experiments are of great value to Toowoomba gardeners. The Boyces also collected many plants on their trips abroad.
The Gardens attract local, national and international attention from plant enthusiasts and researchers.
Redlands, a two-storeyed brick building, is located on a level site facing a formal garden and is approached via a long avenue of mature pine trees to the north. The building has a U-shaped hipped corrugated iron roof with a central valley, paired eave brackets and verandahs on the east, north and west with unlined curved corrugated iron awnings. The symmetrical north elevation has a projecting double storeyed porch, with a flight of stone steps, surmounted by a cross. The verandahs have timber posts with cast iron balustrade, brackets and valance.
The northeast and northwest corners of the ground floor verandahs have decorative coloured glass and pressed metal screens and infill panels. The building has flemish bond brickwork with painted quoining, step-out sash bay windows on the ground floor and a central arched entry to the north with stained glass fanlight and sidelights. The first floor also has a central entry of french doors with stained glass inserts, featuring painted birds, fanlight and sidelights. The south elevation has been cement rendered.
The “Pear Shape” garden still in existence at the front of the building was created by Edmund Wilcox, as was the impressive driveway which he lined with Norfolk and Bunya pines. The old stables, outhouses, orchard, tennis court, dairy, windmill, garages, paddocks and a brick well, however, are all gone.
Internally, the building has a central hall with a carved cedar staircase at the south. The ground floor has rendered walls, elaborate pressed metal ceilings of varying designs and cedar joinery.
Register of the National Estate
|154 Stephen Street
Redlands, a two-storeyed brick residence, was designed by Toowoomba architect James Marks and built by Henry Andrews in 1889 for Edmund Wilcox, a merchant and prominent citizen of Toowoomba.
Redlands was originally built on about 28 acres of land near the Drayton Road, approximately 1½ miles from Toowoomba.
Wilcox received his early business training with the firm of Messrs Cribb and Foote of Ipswich and with Holberton’s of Toowoomba. Later, Wilcox together with his brother Robert founded the firm Wilcox Brothers merchants, located in Ruthven Street for a number of years. Wilcox Brothers eventually sold out to Messrs Laidlaw and Peak.
Bishop’s House, designed by Henry Marks, was constructed in 1911 as the home of Toowoomba businessman, William Charles Peak. In 1939 the house was purchased by the Roman Catholic Church and became home to the Bishop of the recently created Toowoomba Diocese.
In about 1910 as a reflection of his importance in the local community, WC Peak commissioned local architect Henry J Marks to design a house, initially known as Kilallah, for the Peak family at the corner of Lindsay and Margaret Streets, Toowoomba, adjacent to Queen’s Park. Henry Marks was a member of a prominent Toowoomba architectural family. James Marks, Henry’s father, arrived in Queensland from England in 1866 and practised as an architect and builder in Dalby before starting his successful family practice in Toowoomba in the 1870s which remained active until 1962. Henry joined his father in practice in 1892 when the business became known as James Marks and Son.
Henry Marks was an innovative and creative architect, who invented and patented several products including pot-bellied ventilation flues and chimney shafts, windows and a walling system. He employed his inventions on many of his buildings and this helps to identify the buildings for which he was responsible. Several of these innovations are found at Kilallah, now known as the Bishop’s House, including window openings and chimney stacks.
|State Heritage||73 Margaret Street
Address: 12 Stonehaven Street, Toowoomba
|12 Stonehaven Street,
‘Elphin’, a pastoralist’s town house in Anzac Avenue, is listed on the Queensland heritage register.
Elphin is a large low-set timber house designed by Toowoomba architect William Hodgen in 1907 for Andrew Crombie. Elphin is an excellent example of a large Toowoomba timber home that was designed by prominent architect William Hodgen.
|State Heritage||24 Anzac Avenue,
Designed by prominent Toowoomba architect HJ Marks as his private residence, Gladstone House and Cottage, erected c1908, display an individual inventiveness and creativity typical of Marks’ work in their design. Gladstone House includes examples of the AUSTRAL window designed and patented by Marks.
Gladstone House, a single-storeyed weatherboard residence with a multi-hipped corrugated iron roof and timber stumps with batten infill, is located on a northerly sloping site fronting Gladstone Street to the east. The building has a 1970s split-level addition at the rear. The strong geometry of the building is reflected in the cruciform plan, consisting of a central octagonal living room with three bedrooms projecting to the northwest, northeast and southeast, and a dining room to the southwest. The inside corner of each projecting wing is infilled with a triangular shaped room, with the main entry to the east, bathroom to the south, bedroom to the north, and originally an open deck to the west which has been enclosed and extended to create a kitchen.
Harry Marks was considered a creative designer and was responsible for many buildings on the Darling Downs as well as two Roman Catholic Churches in Brisbane. During his career he invented and patented numerous ventilators, reversible casement windows and a method of stucco construction. He continued the practice into the 20th century and his son Charles Beresford Marks became a partner in 1925.In 1925 he became an Associate of the Queensland Institute of Architects, becoming a Fellow 1929.
The RAIA Queensland chapter now awards an annual Harry Marks award for Sustainable Architecture.
|State Heritage||1B, 3 Gladstone Street
Erected in the early 20th century, in a then outer part of Toowoomba [previously Gowrie Shire], Gladstone House survives as evidence of the growth and residential expansion of Toowoomba from this time, as formerly large estates and farms were subdivided and sold.
Born and trained in Toowoomba, Harry Marks had entered into partnership with his father James, in 1892. James had commenced practice as an architect in Toowoomba by the early 1880s, and he and Harry have been described as dominating the architectural profession for more than half a century.
Although Harry Marks was responsible for designing a number of buildings on both the Darling Downs and in Brisbane, much of his work was in Toowoomba where he designed a variety of buildings including Rodway , St James Parish Hall , St Luke’s Church Hall , additions to the Toowoomba Maltings , and the Darling Downs Co-operative Bacon Factory. Marks was also described as being gifted with inventive genius, and he devised and patented a number of architectural elements, including roof ventilators, windows and a method of stucco wall construction. Marks incorporated examples of his inventions in the design of St Rest, triangular bay windows and the AUSTRAL window which he designed reputedly for the house.
James Marks set up as an architect at Toowoomba in 1880. In the late 1880s his eldest son Henry James Marks (1870-1939) trained with him. The firm became James Marks & Son in 1892—the second son Reginald John (1877-1918) was to join the practice after James’s retirement.
James Marks’s reputation and technical competence was complemented by Harry’s inventive ingenuity and flair. Unlike James’s mostly conventional work, Harry’s was unconventional, uninhibited and idiosyncratic; many of the firm’s admired buildings (such as St James’s church hall, additions to the Toowoomba Maltings and Alexandra Hall) were his designs. Evident in these were construction and climatic innovations that Harry patented, including his Austral windows, which were widely used in the United States of America in the 1920s. Harry also designed St Luke’s church hall (1901), featuring Byzantine-like cupolas, cruciform decoration and ventilating gables. According to Janet Hogan, ‘the clerestory lighting, the heavy timber detailing to the entrance portico and the triple casement windows with the curious balance of flat head and ornate sill all contribute to form a . . . fascinating structure’.
Marks incorporated examples of his inventions in the design of St Rest, triangular bay windows and the AUSTRAL window which he designed reputedly for the house. The Shire of Newtown was formed in 1913, from part of the Gowrie Shire area. Marks was an alderman on the Newtown Council from 1913 until 1917, when it was absorbed into the Toowoomba City area. Following Marks’ death in 1939, Katharine remained at Gladstone House and commenced subdividing the grounds of Gladstone House during the 1940s. The land on which the Cottage stands was transferred to Marks’ daughter KM Muir, in 1951. Katharine died in 1954, and her son Charles Beresford Marks, also a Toowoomba architect, was appointed trustee of the property.
Also known as “Largo”, the Mayes’ family home, still stands. Built after the Toowoomba Town Hall in 1900, it is located on the corner of Mary and Arthur Streets and is now “Gowrie House”, a hostel for girls.
Gowrie House, a large low-set brick building designed by prominent Toowoomba architect HJ Marks for leading building contractor Alexander Mayes circa 1901. Mayes was a Mayor of Toowoomba and active in community organisations. Gowrie House is significant for its association with both these Toowoomba identities.
The Toowoomba Chronicle of 12 November 1945 described the new hostel, saying how it was ideally situated on an acre of ground with mature shady trees and turf lawn and “should provide a happy atmosphere for many students and Service girls away from home”.
|State Heritage,||112 Mary Street
The low-set brick house, Largo, on the corner of Arthur and Mary Street was designed by Harry Marks for prominent Toowoomba businessman Alexander Mayes and built probably in 1901, and definitely by 1902.
Architect Harry Marks was born and trained in Toowoomba and he and his father James Marks have been described as dominating the architectural profession for more than half a century. While Harry Marks designed a number of buildings on the Darling Downs and in Brisbane, most of his work was in Toowoomba.
Kensington, 126 Russell St – Built in the early 1900s and renovated for a legal firm, the property has many features including metal work on the ridge of the roof and landscaping appropriate to the design of the house.
William Hodgen established his Toowoomba practice with an advertisement in the Darling Downs Gazette of 6 February 1897 announcing he was a new Toowoomba architect. Growth and development in both Toowoomba and the Downs and his own efficient work meant he soon had a busy and successful practice.
While trained in Queensland, his London experiences and knowledge of the Arts and Crafts movement and Edwardian Classicism were expressed in some of his buildings. However, he tended to employ a Free style, modifying the prevailing Queensland vernacular by introducing individualist elements.
His English experiences are reflected in the classicist detailing of entrance pediments using timber, joinery and internal fittings.
Hodgen designed Kensington as a large timber residence of eight rooms costing £1,035. It was a variation on Hodgen’s standard cottage plan with corner bay windows that were articulated in the form of the roof, the side elevations with a gable over the dining room bay window and secondary entrance and a box roof over the core. His design also included a butler’s pantry, servery and outbuildings.
|State Heritage||126 Russell Street
The steeply pitched corrugated iron hip roof rises to a widows walk which features a finial at corners and cast iron lace. This roof capping is repeated for bays and side gable. Tall chimneys are symmetrically placed. While low-set it has a ‘hit-and-miss’ brick subfloor. Simple wide concrete steps lead up to a carefully detailed entrance bay, with the classical-style pediment resting on an arch supported by posts. The wide verandah, which wraps around to both sides, is edged with cast iron lace. Simple unadorned posts support the convex verandah roof that is stepped down from the superior roof with its pairs of brackets supporting the guttering. The eastern elevation has a projecting gable for the side entrance.
Pupils and staff of Spreydon College, ca.1914
|State Heritage||7 Warra Street & 30 Rome Street
Oak Lodge is a substantial, single storeyed timber dwelling designed in a picturesque style, located on a large block at the corner of Warra and Rome Streets, Newtown, a suburb of Toowoomba. The dwelling is asymmetrical in form, with a steeply pitched roof, from which wide gables project on the main elevation and on the eastern side of the building. A corner bay window is carried through into the main roof and is expressed as a chamfered hip.
Spreydon is a low-set, single storeyed timber dwelling facing north on a large block in Rome Street, Newtown, adjacent to but around the corner from, Oak Lodge. The dwelling is asymmetrical in plan and form with a wide gable to the front and back projecting from a high-pitched roof. Single fretwork brackets support the roof either side on the front gable and eastern elevation. Above a bay in the front gable a rectangular box rises, decorated with timber stick infill. The bay has windows and doors opening onto a narrow bullnosed-roofed verandah which follows the shape of the bay.