Type of place
A substantial timber framed and weatherboarded rectangular building with a half-hipped roof covered in corrugated iron, and a classically derived front porch, it was constructed in 1939/40 as a School of Arts, and remains in this use today, as an important community facility.
Local Heritage Place Since —
Date of Citation —
Roof: Corrugated iron; Walls: Timber
Criterion for listing
(A) Historical;(B) Rarity;(D) Representative;(E) Aesthetic;(G) Social
In 1930 the Camp Hill Progress Association decided that there was a need for a School of Arts, so a committee was formed.
Schools of Arts were popular institutions in many Queensland towns, the first was established in 1849 in Brisbane. They were based on an English model, which provided opportunities for the education of wider sections of the community; this being a popular nineteenth century social concern. Typically, in Queensland, the schools were set up by the local community who received a government subsidy. The building usually provided a reading room, subscription library and a public hall for lectures and debating.1
One of the School of Arts Committee's early actions was to successfully lobby for part of the School reserve to be used for a proposed hall. Fund raising for the hall included picture benefits, raffles, socials in the state school, chocolate wheels, ugly man competition and fetes.
On 21 October 1939 the Wells Brothers signed the tender for a hall designed by James Arundel which cost £1,236/10/-. The opening on 9 March 1940 described the building as being 92 feet by 52 feet and accommodating a dance floor measuring 70 feet by 40 feet. There was a 12 deep stage. There was also a library and supper room.
During the war the School of Arts was the meeting place for the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) Officers, the centre for many fund raising functions in aid of the Red Cross, ACF (Australian Comforts Fund) and POW (Prisoner Of War) Appeals. For local St Thomas Church and Camp Hill school children it was the place for the Fancy Dress Balls, and for dancing classes. Political groups and Baby Clinics used the hall and of course the School of Arts had a lending library and held their own dances and fundraisers. It is also used for the Camp Hill Returned Service League.
Constructed in 1939/40 it is considered to be a late example of a School of Arts, with most being built at the end of the C19th, early C20th.
A substantial timber framed and weatherboarded rectangular structure with a corrugated iron roof, with a classically derived open front porch. It has a half-hipped gable roof to the front and rear. It has an open under croft with vertical timber battens, with a small enclosed area to the rear. It appears to be substantially unaltered externally.
Statement of significance
Relevant assessment criteria
This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:
The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the city's or local area’s history
as a School of Arts Building paid for by funds raised by the Camp Hill Progress Association and opened in March 1940, it demonstration of a strong initiative and commitment to providing community facilities for this growing suburb.
The place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of the city’s or local area’s cultural heritage
as a relatively rare and late example of a suburban School of Arts building still in its original community use.
The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class or classes of cultural places
as a late example of a substantial timber framed, weather boarded and corrugated iron roofed School of Arts building.
The place is important because of its aesthetic significance
as a substantial traditional timber framed, weather boarded and corrugated roofed structure with a classically derived front porch, located on a prominent corner location on the busy Old Cleveland Road, it is a well-established local landmark.
The place has a strong or special association with the life or work of a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons
as a School of Arts building which has continuously served the Camp Hill community for over 75 years, and for its association with a range of WWII community and defense groups, and the Camp Hill Returned Service League.
Extract from QHR citation Irvinebank School of Arts, QHR601619
The Telegraph Thursday 7 March 1940 p 9
The Telegraph Saturday 9 March 1940 p 3
Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)