Mareeba Uniting Church
Mareeba Church protected. Image – State Library of Queensland
  • Mareeba Church in Queensland has officially been added to the Heritage Register
  • This comes after a bid by AIA in February
  • The building was designed by architect Eddie Oribin

A modernist church located in far north Queensland has been successfully protected after being added to the state’s Heritage Regester.

This comes following a bid by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) in February to protect the Mareeba Church from feared demolition.

The unique church building was designed by renowned Queensland Architect Edwin Henry (Eddie) Oribin.

Mr Oribin is famous for the many works in Queensland during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. He was known for his design experimentation and creativity.

The Mareeba Church is not the first of his buildings to be added to the Heritage Register, as it follows his own house and studio.

Modernist church

Built in 1960, the church held its last service on 31 January this year after which it was forced to close due to lockdown restrictions.

The aging and shrinking congregation were both factors in the decision to put the building on the market in February. This is when fears for the building’s future pushed the AIA to apply for heritage status.

As reported in other media, Queensland president of the AIA Dr Michael Lavery said that they are delighted to have assisted the local community in getting the unique building heritage listed.

“The Institute of Architects is thrilled to assist in highlighting and having listed important heritage places in the state.”

Dr Michael Lavery, AIA Queensland president

“We don’t have a lot of listings for buildings post-World War II and normally listings are put forward by private citizens, they’re time-consuming and a lot of information [is] required to do them,” he said.

“It really is a fantastic example of this kind of architectural work and of this architect’s work.”

While the church’s newfound protection under the Heritage Regester does not prohibit it from being marketed, it does mean potential property owners can apply for state and federal government funding to assist in the maintenance of the property.

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