Conservation 2020

NEWSTEAD HOUSE CONSERVATION PROJECT

Newstead House, its collection, and the former historic electricity substation on its grounds, will undergo a major $5.8 million conservation project, funded by the Queensland Government. 

Newstead House, with its collection of nearly 3000 items, is in the grounds of the Brisbane City Council’s Newstead Park. The house and its collection is owned and managed by the Newstead House Board of Trustees under the Newstead House Trust Act 1939.

The board also owns the historic former electricity substation, located in the grounds of Newstead Park, known as Substation No. 5, and built in the 1920s to help power the city’s tramway system.

A final scope of conservation works will be is to be completed in early 2020.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the Newstead House Conservation project?

On 12 October 2019, the Queensland Government announced a $5.8 million restoration and conservation project for Newstead House, in Newstead Park, Newstead, Brisbane.

A part of this conservation project is conservation of the historic former electricity substation, located in the grounds of Newstead Park, known as Substation No. 5.

The project team is currently confirming the scope of works for conservation for Newstead House, electrical substation and collections.

Why is it important to conserve Newstead House?

Built as a privately owned cottage in 1846, Newstead House is Brisbane’s earliest surviving European residence. Along with the substation and the Park Newstead House was entered into the Queensland Heritage Register in October 1992.

It’s a house museum that has been loved by generations of Queenslanders. 

But after 173 years, the house is starting to show the natural wear and tear that can occur when many thousands of people visit the building each year.

It’s important we protect our heritage and maintain buildings like Newstead House for all to enjoy.

Will Newstead House be brought back to its original condition?

The conservation project aims to undertake works to protect and present Newstead House as it was a residence in the late 1800s.

The project team is working to conserve the house to “as original” as possible to the 1800s feel, however modern building codes will need to be complied with. 

What is the Newstead House collection and what will come of it?

The Newstead House collection is an assortment of some 3000 historical items, collected over many years from a range of sources and are displayed within the home as museum pieces.

Conservation of the collection forms part of the project and the interpretation of Newstead House as a late 1880s residence.

What is the substation and why is it being preserved?

The historic former electricity Substation No. 5, was built in the 1920s to help power the city’s tramway system. It is one of a number of such substations that powered the trams around Brisbane which are now also listed in the Queensland Heritage Register.

While the substation’s rationale, design, and use does not intrinsically link with Newstead House, it has been part of the home’s overall environment for close to 100 years and it’s important to preserve the substation for all of Queensland to enjoy.

Who is responsible for the Newstead House Conservation Project?

The Newstead House Conservation Project is being funded by the Queensland Government and managed by the Department of Environment and Science on behalf of the Newstead House Board of Trustees. 

What is Council’s role in the Newstead House Conservation Project?

Council will work with the State to support the project and minimised the impacts to Newstead Park.

Will Newstead House be closed for the duration?

As with any major building project, there will be a need temporarily close Newstead House from time to time for worker and public safety.

A more defined scope of works is to be completed in early 2020 and more detail about the temporary closures will be known.

To facilitate the safe construction for the conservation project there will be no bookings for events at Newstead House post July 2020. The project team is working hard to ensure that events can return as fast as possible.

How will the Newstead House Conservation Project impact Newstead Park?

To ensure safety for workers and the public during construction work we will have to close Newstead House and sections of Newstead Park for a period of time in 2020. This may include closures of the main entrance and road into Newstead Park (on the corner of Breakfast Creek Road and Newstead Avenue) as well as the immediate area around the house.  All parts of the park not enclosed in the construction footprint will remain open to the public and access can be achieved via pedestrian paths and the boat pontoon. People with mobility issues or heavier items may require additional support to access the park during construction due to the closure of the road access into the park. We apologies for any inconvenience this may create.

A more defined scope of works is to be completed in early 2020 and more detail about the temporary closures will be known.

When will the Newstead House and Park be impacted by the Newstead House Conservation Project?

A schedule for the works will be available in early 2020 and then we can determine the actual closure dates for Newstead House and parts of the park. The project is estimated to begin in late July 2020 and continue for up to 12 months. Public access to the rest of the park will be maintained throughout the project. For more information please visit <Add project website link>.

Will Newstead House be open for public visitation and approved events once the Newstead House Conservation Project is complete?

Newstead House will be open for public visitation and approved events once the project has been complete.

Will I still be able to book an event space at Newstead Park during the Newstead House Conservation Project?

The bookable event spaces within Newstead Park will still be available for hire during this time although a few temporary disruptions may occur during particular construction activities. More information on these times will be given in early 2020. 

It must be noted that the usual aesthetic backdrop of the house will be significantly impacted by construction scaffolding, screens and fencing and may not be suitable for events such as weddings during this period. People with mobility issues or heavier items may require additional support to access the park during construction due to the closure of the road access into the park. We apologies for any inconvenience this may create.

Will any of the memorials in Newstead Park be impacted by the Newstead House Conservation Project?

No memorials will be impacted by the Newstead House Conservation Project.  All construction plans will take into account and minimise the risk to any culturally significant element of the park or house. All ceremonial use of the memorials will continue during the construction. People with mobility issues or heavier items may require additional support to access the park during construction due to the closure of the road access into the park. We apologies for any inconvenience this may create.

Will I still be able to conduct a memorial service in the park during the Newstead House Conservation Project?

The bookable event spaces will still be available for hire during this time although a few temporary disruptions may occur during particular construction activities. More information on these times will be given in early 2020. 

It must be noted that the access to the park will be impacted with only pedestrian access available during this period. Access for people with mobility issues or for heavier items maybe more difficult due to the closure of the road access into the park.

Will changes to the access to Newstead Park affect people for mobility issues?

People with mobility issues may require additional support to access the park during construction. Signage will be installed for any detours in place. We apologise for any inconvenience this may create.

Will any of the heritage elements of the park be impacted by the Newstead House Conservation Project?

The construction plans will take into account, and minimise the risk, to any culturally significant elements of the Park or House.

Will I still be able to park my car at Newstead Park during the Newstead House Conservation Project?

The access road to Newstead House and Newstead Park will be closed for periods of time during the project. Specific times will be confirmed in early 2020.  The closest parking location is along Newstead Avenue. The number of car parks available will be reduced and public transport may be the best way to get to the park.   

Where can people go for further information?

There will be regular updates on the progress of this project will be available online and through targeted stakeholder engagement. To be on our mailing list please contact us on [email protected]

For further information on the Newstead House conservation project contact: 07 3216 1846. 

For media enquiries contact Jennifer Garcia on +61 417 177 965 or email [email protected]

For information about Newstead Park should be directed to 07 3403 8888.