Old fireman's hall to make way for Maccas carpark
UPDATE MARCH 1: THE new carpark at McDonalds Ipswich is now open, making way for extra space for cheeseburger customers.
A building known as the Old Fireman's Hall was demolished to create room at the Limestone St site.
It comes after the drive-thru was expanded to two lanes last year.
INITIAL: DEMOLITION has started on the building known as the Old Fireman's Hall on Limestone St.
Before the week is out, the block is expected to have been cleared to make way for 12 new parking spaces for the McDonald's next door.
Workers began the arduous task of carefully removing the asbestos last week, much to the dismay of those hoping to use the drive through which was temporarily closed during the preliminary works.
As the building's fate draws closer, some would consider its removal another loss to the city's heritage, however, the history of the Old Fireman's Hall is a bit of a mystery.
Over the years it has been used by the Baptist Church, the Ipswich Choral Society and other community groups.
Former nurse Margaret Boulter, who was heavily involved in the Baptist Church that occupied the neighbouring block, believes it was never owned by the church.
She recalled the Sunday School, a different building formerly next door, and the building where the pastor used to live, but believes the hall was owned by the fire brigade.
"It was built as their training school," Ms Boulter said.
"I remember the fire station being only down on Brisbane St, so the hall didn't come until later when they built the next section on Limestone St."
Ipswich Historical Society President Hugh Taylor couldn't shed any light on the building's past either.
When the application was initially lodged the Historical Society had enquired about moving the building to Cooneana, to become part of the historical village, but it was deemed too costly and complicated.
The removal of the hall, to create space for more car parking, is just one part of the planned McDonald's expansion.
Earlier in the year Ipswich City Council approved an application for the fast food giant to add a second lane at the drive through in response to "a high level of ongoing patronage", as stated in the development plans.
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