One of Geraldton’s oldest icons has been given a new lease on life.
Geraldton’s original Railway Station has been beautifully restored and will open next week as the new Geraldton Visitor Centre.
The operational launch of the new facility will take place on Monday, December 8, with the building open to the public for the very first time since 1999.
The West End icon was originally built in 1878 and was the first railway station constructed on a Government line in Western Australia.
Now 136 years on, the building’s heritage has been preserved through careful restoration and many elements from the original building feature in the new Visitor Centre.
City of Greater Geraldton Deputy Mayor, Neil McIlwaine, said the new Visitor Centre would be a crowning jewel in the West End.
“Seeing this building restored to its former glory is fantastic and it is one of several elements of the West End revitalisation project,” he said.
“The building holds a rich history for Geraldton so we ensured the restorations did justice to the important piece of heritage.
“This project is something that the whole community can enjoy and we are so glad we could make the piece of history a usable feature in our City, just as it served our ancestors.”
The striking double-story building on Marine Terrace has not only served as a Railway Station but also as the public library and a museum.
Despite the age of the building, much of the building structure was in perfect condition.
Even the original wooden floorboards, windows, fire places, skirting boards, stone work and architraves will feature in the new building.
The cost of the restoration was around $2.13 million with the City providing $1.03 million, $1 million from the State Government as part of Royalties for Regions and an additional $100,000 coming from the Federal Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund as part of the overall allocation for the West End Revitalisation Project.
The restoration is phase two of the West End Revitalisation Project. The Esplanade was the first phase and the third phase will be the Youth Precinct which is set to be completed next year.
The new address of the Visitor Centre is 246 Marine Terrace, Geraldton and the phone number is (08) 9956 6670. There will be an official launch of the Visitor Centre in early 2015.