Queenstown State School
Why is it Significant?
The Queenstown State School structure is an excellent example of the deco style
adopted within the context of public building works programs during the 1930’s throughout the North West of Tasmania. Designed by Architect and
Educator, Sydney Wallace Blythe, the structure is one of few that Blythe designed in concrete. The window mullions and transoms provide a direct
example of the influence of Wright and Mackintosh unlike the longitudinal proportions Blythe had used previously. The building due to its unique
style remains a focal point to many who grew up and lived in the region enhancing the social and cultural significance of the site. The school
built in 1937 on the original site of the ‘Queenstown Children’s Playground’ – a memorial and commemorative feature of Queenstown constructed in
1918 to honour those who served in WW1 closed in 1999.
Why is it at Risk?
The 1937 Deco style building has remained vacant since its closure in 1999.
Vandalism and the lack of maintenance has resulted in the sites continued deterioration of original features including internal class room
wall paintings dating back to the early 1940’s. The uniqueness of these wall paintings is significant to the social and industrial history of
Tasmania and the mining industry as several depict scenes of Queenstown and have been painted in a variety of styles. The site is currently owned
by a private company listed with ASIC which was registered in 2001. A profile of the company is not available and there is no advise as to the
planned future use of the building or site. West Coast Council appreciates the cultural and social links to the site, however no reports have
been commissioned in regards to the sites significance an no enforcement notices issued.
What needs to be done?
The entire site to be developed through a consultative process which successfully
integrates the unique features of the building structures and grounds. The re use of the buildings in a sensitive manner acknowledging the
architectural, social and cultural significance of the site within the context of the region and state.The site lends itself to a broad range of
commercial, private and public applications. The most desired outcome would be a usage which re instates the sites prominence on the Queenstown
landscape through public accessibility and honours the commemorative values and use of the original site.