Bridg­ing the gap

The py­lons of the Wal­ter Tay­lor Bridge hide apart­ments and even a ball­room. One real es­tate agent says it’s time to re­store the space, writes Me­lanie Burgess

The Courier-Mail - Property - - REALESTATE NEWS -

AL­THOUGH seen by many as j ust a handy l i nk b e t ween In­dooroop­illy and Chelmer, the Wal­ter Tay­lor Bridge was in­tended for much more.

With apart­ments and even a ball­room hid­den within i t s Chelmer py­lon, one lo­cal agent is push­ing for a re­vamp to see t he builder ’s orig­i­nal plans come to fruition.

Dixon Fam­ily Real Es­tate prin­ci­pal Patrick Dixon said the py­lon and sur­round­ing area could be used for f unc­tions, ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion, cafes, ca­noe hire and pic­nics.

“In­dooroop­illy and Chelmer de­serve a bit of char­ac­ter and so­cial in­fra­struc­ture,” he said.

“We shouldn’t waste t his unique trea­sure. We should share it for the ben­e­fit of Bris­bane.”

He said re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion would en­hance property val­ues, too.

“People want to walk down to a cafe and have a short black or a cap­puc­cino or a glass of wine,” he said. “That’s why New Farm is so ex­pen­sive and Bulimba has done so well.”

He said he would like to see Wal­ter Tay­lor’s ex­act vi­sion en­acted and be­lieved Mr Tay­lor would be sorry to see its po­ten­tial wasted.

Mr Tay­lor’s grand­son and au­thor of The Re­mark­able Wal­ter Tay­lor, Noel Davis, said Mr Dixon’s vi­sion was “tremen­dous”.

“I have to say I’m a bit sur­prised (Mr Tay­lor) in­cluded a ball­room as he was a de­vout Methodist and Methodists don’t be­lieve i n dancing on church property,” he said.

“(But) the space was there so it seems he had in mind that the py­lons would not only have ac­com­mo­da­tion but could also be used for so­cial func­tions.”

He said the ball­room hadn’t ac­tu­ally been used for that pur­pose in the past but it could be pop­u­lar for wed­dings.

Mr Dixon first wrote to Bris- bane City Coun­cil with his vi­sion for Wal­ter Tay­lor Bridge in 2011 but has re­newed his push in the wake of suc­cess­ful tours of its In­dooroop­illy py­lon.

Coun­cil re­fur­bished the old tol­l­keeper’s apart­ment in the In­dooroop­illy py­lon last year and Coun­cil­lor Ju­lian Sim­monds of Wal­ter Tay­lor Ward said tours had been suc­cess­ful.

“We had 300 book­ings in the first week,” Cr Sim­monds said.

He said Coun­cil had spent $150,000 restor­ing the In­dooroop­illy py­lon but the Chelmer py­lon would take “sig­nif­i­cantly more” than that.

“It needs quite a bit of fund­ing to bring it into a state where people can safely go through t he py­lon and as part of t he com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion there was con­cern around park­ing,” he said.

But Mr Dixon said the lack of park­ing could be solved by wa­ter taxis and the nearby train sta­tion and fund­ing didn’t have to come from ratepay­ers.

“Pri­vate ini­tia­tive can make things hap­pen when govern­ment can’t,’’ he said.

Wal­ter Tay­lor Bridge is Aust r ali a’s l ongest s us­pen­sion bridge and the only hab­it­able bridge in the South­ern Hemi­sphere. It was opened on Valen­tine’s Day in 1936.

Real es­tate agent Patrick Dixon at the bridge.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.