THEY'RE regularly marvelled at from the kerb, now the owners of three iconic Ipswich homes will offer a rare glimpse inside their properties when they throw open the doors to visitors for the Great Houses of Ipswich event on May 10.
The National Trust, through its partnership with Ipswich City Council and property owners, will open Toronto, a rare surviving example of Carpenter Gothic architecture, the city's earliest Californian bungalow, Booeebie and Victorian mansion, Gooloowan - all starkly different yet grand in their own right.
Walkers Real Estate principal June Frank said Ipswich's cultural heritage and historic homes were the major drawcard of tourists to the city each year.
"It's very important to the economic development of the town," she said.
"This particular round of homes has encapsulated a gothic, mansion and a bungalow. It shows the diversity of the architecture as well as the abundance of the fine, magnificent homes we have here in
impeccably good condition."
Arthur Frame, chair of the Ipswich-West Moreton branch of the National Trust, said more than 1000 visitations were recorded at the inaugural Great Houses of Ipswich open home event last year.
Interestingly, most who registered their address travelled from Brisbane.
"Its success could be a model for other communities across the state," Mr Frame said.
Vanessa Cobbin, who owns Toronto House on Quarry St, said she looked forward to sharing her gothic-style home with visitors.
Toronto House represents a timepiece of Ipswich's prosperous past, built in 1863 when the town strongly contested Brisbane as a leading commercial centre.
Mr Frame said Great Homes of Ipswich would be presented twice this year with another three homes on show in September.
Toronto, Booeebie and Gooloowan will open to the public on Saturday, May 10, 10am-3pm. Cost is $5 per adult per property.
For more information, visit nationaltrust.org.au
Toronto House, 30 Quarry St, Ipswich
- Formerly known as Devonshire Cottage
- There are only five homes of gothic similarity in Ipswich
- Built in 1863 for a wealthy Elizabeth Lloyd as an investment property
- The external walls are 300mm hand-planed pine chamferboard
Gooloowan House, 43 Quarry St, Ipswich
- Victorian mansion built in 1864 for Benjamin Cribb and his second wife Clarissa
- Cribb and brother-in-law John Clarke Foote owned the renowned Cribb and Foote retail firm
- Features fine cedar joinery, two rare surviving bathrooms, elegant drawing, dining and sitting rooms, a library, nine bedrooms and maids' quarters
Booeebie House, 75 Chermside Rd, Ipswich
- The first reinforced concrete home built in Ipswich in 1926
- Designed by local architect William Haenke for his brother Harry
- Its Californian bungalow style was inspired by American architectural magazines sent from another brother, Mark Haenke, who worked in California at the time