Flashback Friday: Macintyre Shire Council building

STORY TO TELL: Originally built for the Macintyre Shire Council, the building is currently occupied by community service provider Pathfinders.

STORY TO TELL: Originally built for the Macintyre Shire Council, the building is currently occupied by community service provider Pathfinders.

On the corner of Henderson and Otho Streets facing Sinclair Park is an interesting single story brick building currently occupied by Pathfinders.

Designed by Inverell architect, FJ Madigan, and built in 1935 for the Macintyre Shire Council, this modern brick building was constructed on a re-enforced concrete foundation.

Mr Madigan had previously designed a number of Shire offices in NSW including Tamworth and Glen Innes.

It is not clear who the builder was, however tenders were received from B.M. Wade, C. F. Nott, Freak Bros of Glen Innes, H. C. Ditzell and Buxton and Boland.

At the time the council noted that all tenders were above the original estimate and there was considerable discussion about the design and costs before construction started.

The building entrance has a porch supported by columns and a tiled roof. Upon entry originally the lobby gave access to several rooms.

The main office, on one side of the building, had polished Oregon timber counters, desks and furniture. On the other side was a spacious board room with a fireplace and an attractive ceiling.

There were separate offices for the shire clerk and engineer with adequate space for necessary equipment.

Burge Bros store won the tender for supplying blinds and lino floor coverings, while Mr. R W Johnstone provided the furniture.

During construction, plans were also made for landscaping the site.

At the opening of the building it was noted that since the formation of the Shire Council, 3000 pounds ($6000) had been spent on rented premises and the new building cost 1725 pounds ($3430).

The Macintyre Shire Council was formed in 1906 and first had an office in the Byron Arcade where they also held meetings.

The Shire area was east of Inverell and several of the early councillors were large landholders in the district.

Mr J A Anderson of Newstead South Station was the interim president until the election of Mr. C G Gordon, who then held the position until leaving to serve in World War I.

The first Macintyre Shire engineer was Mr J G Fitzgerald and the temporary shire clerk was Mr W A Fraser until the appointment of Mr O V Johnson.

In its early days the Macintyre Shire Council was mostly concerned with improving roads and providing bridges to create better access for residents.

After the 1979 amalgamation of Inverell Municipal Council with Macintyre and Ashford Shire Councils, this building eventually became business offices and has been added to and renovated.

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