Commonwealth Hotel rebuild well on the way as Ipswich CBD transformed

It’s back to the future for this century-old downtown pub.

Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Cr Marnie Doyle said that in late November, Built Pty Ltd, the team behind the refurbishment of the Commonwealth Hotel, will start to bring the building’s original panels back to site for installation to the façade.

“We are all looking forward to this as it will be an exciting step in the rebirth of the federation pub,” Cr Doyle said.

“Ipswich residents will recall that over the years, the Commonwealth Hotel, also known as Murphy’s Town Pub, had suffered a significant crack in its façade due to subsidence which made the building uninhabitable.

“To ensure that the building could be repaired, and to prevent further disintegration to the original components, the building was carefully deconstructed, with the pieces stored offsite in a council depot to be restored and repaired.”

Cr Doyle said a new 8.5m English bond brick wall is being constructed on the western side of the 110-year-old building, which will take one month to build and use more than 20,000 bricks.

The century-old bricks which were removed from the site are currently being cleaned in council’s offsite depot along with the original timber from the windows, doors, veranda and floors to be re used in the reconstruction.

“With the building’s foundations now stabilised, work is underway on restoring the 1910 pub back to its original form. So far, approximately $3.5 million has been spent to underpin the site of the Commonwealth Hotel and to install temporary bracing to ensure the building remained as stable as possible.

“The reconstruction and restoration of the building to a ‘shell’ which can then be leased to an external operator for a full fit out, is expected to take about 23 weeks to complete.

“The Commonwealth Hotel in Union Place is the only building of its age to survive the extensive Ipswich mall redevelopment of the mid-1980s, with council keen to retain the iconic pub for future generations.”

Ipswich City Council signed off on the Commonwealth Hotel reconstruction project as part of the $250 million CBD redevelopment in July.

Council’s Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee had agreed to the $2.354 million project and it was passed unanimously by council.

Cr Doyle said at the time that “in Ipswich, we have lost so many significant heritage and historical buildings that were victims of the 80s; many beautiful buildings were just bulldozed and replaced with modern structures that are now outdated. I think this is one important win we need in Ipswich to preserve some of our history”.

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 >>>Council gives green light to Commonwealth Hotel reconstruction

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