Community ideas sought on adaptive reuse of Uralla Old Court House
Published on 01 October 2021
Uralla Shire Council has secured a grant of $925,000 from the state and federal governments to restore and revive the historic Uralla Court House.
Council has started its community consultation process with a survey seeking input to assist Council to determine how the restored Uralla Court House can be most appropriately ‘reused’ into the future.
Restoration works will include asbestos removal, roof repairs, flooring, electrical and kitchen renewals, as well as the installation of solar, fencing, and more to meet health and safety standards and enable the building to be repurposed for future use.
“This is an exciting project with many potential social, economic, and environmental benefits for the Uralla Shire community,” said Mayor Michael Pearce.
There are many examples both across Australia and internationally of former court houses being adaptively re-used. Some new uses for these buildings have included professional office space, commercial uses, and community museums.
“Ideally we want the building re-use to include capacity to be self-supporting, so that council, and the rate-payer, will not need to pitch in to cover its operating or maintenance costs,” said Uralla Shire Council General Manager Kate Jessep.
“Community connection is important, too. Access to the main part of the building – the Court House itself – could be arranged in a manner as determined through the community consultation process, such as tours or open days,” Ms Jessep said.
The Uralla Old Court House is a well-known and prominent landmark, sitting on the corner of Hill and Maitland Streets. It makes a major contribution to the streetscape, with important architectural links with the Central Business District, the post office, police station complex and the Uralla Railway Station.
Completed in 1885, the historic Court House is built with Uralla red bricks in Flemish bond and Uralla granite for the steps. Internally it has well-crafted 19th century cedar joinery.
It has a rendered façade with classical features including a pediment portico, a rail and circular entrance leading to central large timber doors, and high windows on either side with semi-circular upper sashes. The roof is high pitch gable, clad in corrugated galvanised iron. The Court House has high brick chimneys (complete with pots) on the ridge, east and north sides, all with external flues.
The large western wall of the holding yard is constructed of brick. There are two court yards, stables and two toilet blocks.
“It will be wonderful to breathe new life back into this iconic building,” said Mayor Michael Pearce.
“We have a very creative and enterprising community here in Uralla, so I’m excited to hear what ideas are out there,” Mayor Pearce said.
Visit uralla.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/court-house to complete the online survey or to find out more.
Paper copies of the survey can be collected from the Council Administration Centre at 32 Salisbury Street, Uralla. Written submission can also be made via email to email@example.com, handed into the customer service team at the Administration building on Salisbury St, or addressed to the Office of the General Manager, PO Box 106 Uralla 2358.
The submission period for this first stage of community consultation will close at 5:00pm on Friday, 29 October 2021.