This complex comprises of the Court House, Art Gallery and the Abbott Street gardens. The two acre site has been reserved since 1876 for public purposes, and both buildings were erected between the First and Second World Wars. The construction and design of these buildings reflects the confidence the State Government had in Cairns as an important regional centre.
The Court House
Construction of this low-set concrete building with a simple classic facade began in 1919. Now restored, it features wide timber verandas on the rear and side elevations and a crest over the entrance door. It replaced the original Cairns Court House, which was opened in 1884 on the Esplanade which by 1890 had been outgrown by the local court and was entering a state of disrepair.
The Art Gallery was formerly the Public Curator's Offices and the State Government Insurance Office which was erected on land previously designated as a police reserve. The building was opened in 1936 and features arched window openings and iconic columns rising through both storeys. The building was restored and became the home of the Cairns Regional Gallery (now Cairns Art Gallery) in 1995.
Both of these buildings can also be found on the Cairns CBD Heritage Walk Trail here.