Ipswich Antique Centre celebrates a milestone this December – it is 8 years since Heather and John Mildwaters finished a renovation of the large heritage-listed building and opened the centre.
The couple bought the former Sunday school hall on December 2, 2009. They then spent a year and two weeks working on it along with large teams of tradesmen replacing floors and re-plastered walls.
“We repainted – and restored where necessary – 300 panes of glass,” Heather recalls.
They opened on December 16, 2010, and today the centre is home to thousands of items displayed by 25 dealers. Antiques and collectibles range in price from $5 through to several thousand.
The towering landmark was built in 1895 as the Congregational Sunday School Hall. The Foote family, of Cribb & Foote department store fame, contributed 3000 of the 4000 pounds needed. Later, in the mid-1950s, another branch of the family paid for the construction of the curvy modernist church next to the hall.
The hall was said to be the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere at the time of contruction. Today it is one of the largest antique centres in Queensland, with aisles of furniture, cabinets of china and jewellery, rooms of collectibles and an entire mezzanine section of vintage clothing and accessories.
Ipswich Antique Centre is open from 10am to 5pm Thursday to Monday. It’s a popular stop for weekend day-trippers. And it is situated just minutes away from the heritage city’s many restaurants and cafes.