MT CROSBY HERITAGE HOUSING PRECINCT
Stumers Road, Mount Crosby QLD
Constructed in 1891 under the design guidance of Charles McLay (Brisbane Customs House architect), the buildings in Mt Crosby heritage housing precinct were erected to house the staff operating the adjacent heritage listed Mt Crosby Water treatment plant built in 1893-4.
The precinct comprises one cottage, four duplexes and two substantial houses and is entered in the Brisbane City Plan heritage register. Thom Blake, Historian, summarises the precincts importance below. “The four duplexes are very rare examples of this type of housing in Queensland from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Although timber duplexes were not common prior to the mid 1880s, the Prevention of the Undue Subdivision of Land 1885 effectively prevented the development of duplex housing in Queensland. The Mount Crosby houses are significant as an excellent example of a group of worker housing erected in the 19th century. Providing housing for employees was a common practice throughout Queensland in the 19th century in locations where accommodation was not readily available. Such accommodation was often an integral part of railway facilities, pastoral stations, meat works, large manufacturing complexes, sugar mills and mining operations. Few examples of employee housing precincts constructed in the 19th century remain due to demolition and or relocation of buildings. The Mount Crosby precinct, however, is remarkably intact and the most outstanding example in Queensland. It is also significant in demonstrating the hierarchy in the type of housing ranging from a cottage from the drayman to the more substantial residences for the engineers.”
Although the buildings remained remarkable intact regarding their heritage significance, the buildings had fallen into a significant state of disrepair thus requiring considerable intervention to ensure their heritage significance could live on for future generations to enjoy.
Under the direction of SEQ Water, Architectural Collaborative assisted in the delivery of documentation and contract administration services to assist in restoring the buildings to a habitable state and endeavour to find opportunities to re-instate heritage components where possible. Through careful assessment and collaboration with heritage advisors the project team was able to re-invigorate the existing precinct and provide new life to significant part of Brisbane rich industry and workers history.