New Plaza Part Of St Patrick’s Church Restoration

st-patricks-church

The 140-year-old St Patrick’s Church in Fortitude Valley will undergo a much-needed restoration and will feature a new plaza, as part of the recently approved development right next to it.  


Read: Plans Revealed For New Torrens University Campus In Fortitude Valley


Brisbane City Council has approved the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane’s application (A005698653) for a new commercial building, sitting next to the heritage-listed church, which will feature a rooftop garden and a space for the parish community to meet. The eight-storey building will also have two levels of basement car parking for 132 cars. 


Highlights

  • The St Patrick Church will be restored as part of the Archdiocese of Brisbane’s proposal for development in the area
  • The heritage-listed church will have an expansive plaza on the ground floor.

Plans

View between St Patricks Church and proposed development area (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council)

The restoration will not have a huge impact on the church’s external elements and will retain its iconic Gothic design. Instead, the Archdiocese proposed to establish an expansive plaza on the ground floor, which will provide for increased awareness and visitation of the church.

Artist’s impression of ground floor plaza (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council)

“The development will allow for the retention of the setting of the place and will not impact on the significant fabric of the church or the significant external elements. The majority of mature trees will be retained through the proposed works, with only a non-significant,” stated Urbis in a planning report.

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Designed by BVN, the medium-rise building will have an undercroft “Garden Room” with an integrated landscape, increased lift capacities for office staff, and a wellness room. 

“These works will assist in ensuring St Patricks continues to remain as a long-standing form of Gothic Architecture and within suburban Brisbane. Additionally, the limited street presence beyond the immediate view from Morgan Street is to be retained and enhanced as part of the development,” the planning report reads. 

A spokesperson from the archdiocese said the driving force behind this project is the need to ensure the parish can financially support its ageing St Patrick’s church. Works for the new commercial building, including the church’s restoration is expected to start in 2022.

About the St Patrick’s Church

Photo credit: Brisbane City Council

St Patrick’s Church is a substantial, Gothic-influenced stone building centrally sited on an interior block accessed via Berwick and Morgan Streets. 

It was constructed from 1880-82, to accommodate the growing Catholic population in Fortitude Valley. It replaced an earlier St Patrick’s, erected in Wickham Street, opposite Duncan Street, in 1861, one block from the residence of the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Brisbane, James O’Quinn.

The new St Patrick’s Church was one of the last of the substantial masonry ecclesiastical structures erected under Bishop O’Quinn’s patronage and was the largest church built during his occupancy of the Queensland Bishopric, 1861 to 1881, being at the time of greater seating capacity than St Stephen’s Cathedral.