The Cairns School of Arts was built in 1907 and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. This was originally the centre of cultural and adult educational activity in Cairns. Now restored, it houses the Cairns Museum.
The Queensland Heritage Register-listed building is sited on a prime CBD location and is one of four heritage buildings on the corner of Lake and Shields streets. This combination creates one of the best intersections in the Cairns CBD, demonstrating 20th century cultural, hotel, residential and commercial uses.
The important School of Arts building demonstrates a range of aesthetic characteristics valued by the Cairns community, in particular its contribution to the streetscapes of Lake and Shields streets. It consists of four buildings, each constructed in a different historical era, which has been highlighted through the restoration process. The original building was built in 1907, with major extensions in 1932, 1939 and now in 2016.
This building also forms a part of the Cairns CBD Heritage Walk trail which can be found here.