An art gallery’s unwanted staircase has found a new home after a bidding process attracted just one interested party – and they will be getting it for free!
The century-old cedar staircase was situated in the Albury Art Gallery in New South Wales, Australia. The gallery is to undergo a $10.5 million redevelopment but the historic stairs weren’t part of the plans, leading to the local council opening an expressions of interest process.
The first expression of interest came from Archdeacon Peter MacLeod-Miller, owner of Adamshurst, a former function centre and restaurant, which closed down in 2012. The Archdeacon purchased Adamshurst last year with the intention of using the building for church and community purposes. He immediately expressed his desire to have the disused staircase from the gallery but was told the council would have to wait and see if any further applicants were forthcoming.
The council set out several criteria for accepting offers, such as the staircase being re-used in a recognisable architectural capacity and also expressed its desire for the staircase to remain within the council boundary. When no other bids were made, the Adamshurst offer was accepted, with its owners having the added bonus of not having to pay a cent for the staircase, thanks to the council’s own asset disposal policy. The rules dictate that an item can be gifted if valued at less than $150,000 and that meant Adamshurst was able to acquire the staircase for absolutely nothing.
The next step is to work out how to get the staircase from the gallery to Adamshurst. Thankfully, the two buildings are less than a mile apart, so transporting the stairs shouldn’t be a problem – it’s just a case of working out the best way to get it from A to B.
While the efforts to save the staircase are to be applauded, for many, it’s much easier to buy new stair parts from scratch and UK Stair Parts has everything you need if you’re building a brand new staircase. In addition, the site allows you to find a stair fitter near you if you don’t want to fit the parts yourself.
Written by David Chapman of UK Stair Parts