END OF AN ERA: Construction fencing is erected at The One Mile Hotel and the pub signs are removed from the facade and the roof.
END OF AN ERA: Construction fencing is erected at The One Mile Hotel and the pub signs are removed from the facade and the roof. Rob Williams

Demolition crew moves in to clear iconic One Mile Hotel

ANOTHER piece of history is about to disappear from Ipswich's streetscape.

Construction fencing has been erected around the One Mile Hotel at West Ipswich, the XXXX Gold sign has been pulled down and the One Mile Hotel signage has been removed from the roof and the facade of the building.

In the QT in September Mayor Paul Pisasale slammed developers for secrecy surrounding plans for the One Mile Hotel.

The council had been advised that a Brisbane-based private certifier had issued an order for demolition of the hotel building without any discussions with the council.

The 1911-built two-storey hotel building, the third pub built on the site, is not heritage listed. However the hotel is listed in the council's heritage trails as a significant site.

It is believed the site will be levelled next week to make way for a petrol station. However no plans for the site have been lodged with council.

One Mile Hotel director Richard Shaw has constantly denied that there were plans to demolish the hotel since he was first questioned on the future of the pub by the QT in April.

He confirmed they were in discussions with a prospective buyer but even in September downplayed any approval for demolition, saying potential developers were entitled to "carry out searches".

"The fact there is someone looking up to see if it can be demolished doesn't mean it is definitely going to happen," Mr Shaw said in September.

Division 7 candidate Jim McKee said council policy was for adaptive reuse of heritage buildings and council had the opportunity to block demolition of the building through its Ipswich Regional Centre Strategy, adopted in 2007, which earmarked the area for medium density residential.

"On the strategy, the One Mile Hotel was listed as a key site because it is the entrance to a large residential area and it is a secondary entrance to the city," Mr McKee said.

"Council has the opportunity to preserve buildings if they wish to. I think the One Mile Hotel is significant enough to be reused. Council should have pushed their policy for adaptive reuse and that could have become a focal building for a residential development."

National Trust Ipswich president Arthur Frame said the building had been evaluated as part of a council heritage/townscape study in 1991 but was not considered worthy of heritage listing at that time.

"While there appears to have been no subsequent approaches made for listing, it would be hoped that the developers consider carefully the distinctiveness and value which can be added to a business through the connection of the site to its historical past and particularly through the existing architectural fabric present on that site.

"I am always saddened to see pieces of Ipswich history not being retained. There could well be elements of the building that could be retained to give it a distinctive presence and draw attention to it in the streetscape rather than just fading into the background.

A council spokesman said the council had not received a development application on future use of the site.

He said the demolition was approved by a private certifier and Ipswich City Council was not involved.

However he said the building was not of heritage significance.

"The building has never been recommended for heritage listing as it is not considered to be of heritage significance. It was reviewed as part of the 1991 Heritage Study by heritage experts," he said.

Both Council's Planning Committee chairman Paul Tully and Division 7 councillor Andrew Antoniolli did not respond to calls from the QT yesterday.

The story of the One Mile Hotel

  • Established as one of Ipswich's first pubs as the area was a busy spot where bullock wagons rested on the road between Ipswich and the Darling Downs.
  • The old tavern dated "back to the days of convict labour, and Cobb and Co.'s coaches" (QT, July 27, 1937)
  • 1885 - Jack King became the proprietor of the One Mile Hotel, rebuilt in that year.
  • 1911- architect "Coutts" called tenders for a two-storey brick hotel at One Mile for N. Kerwick.
  • May 1937 - Licensing Commission Sittings approve One Mile Hotel owner EH Campbell's plans and specifications for the re-erection of the One Mile Hotel, Ipswich.
  • 27 July 1937 - The Queensland Times reported "Excellent progress has been made with the new One Mile Hotel. Built in brick and plaster, the new structure will be a handsome two-storey building. Downstairs there will be public and private bars, a lounge, and three bedrooms.Upstairs there will be eight bedrooms and bathrooms, with all the latest conveniences."

The building was expected to be finished in September.

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