Architecture in Mackay

Prominent Art Deco and Spanish Mission style

Mackay’s architecture is unusual when compared with that of other cities in Queensland.

Although settled in the 1860s, the majority of buildings in the city centre were designed and constructed within the first three decades of the 20th Century thus making Mackay has one of the best collections of art deco buildings in Queensland. Mackay is also fortunate to have a fantastic collection of Mediterranean style or as its more well known as Spanish mission style. This style is associated with Hollywood glamour and its suitability for life it the tropics.


Shaping the city

There was a construction boom in the early 20th Century due to a series of unrelated events which combined to transform the appearance of the city of Mackay.

These included:

  • fires in 1915 and 1916 which destroyed many shops in Victoria Street
  • the devastating cyclone in 1918 which destroyed most of the original buildings in the city
  • a policy of the council at the time to replace all timber commercial premises with masonry structures for safety reasons
  • a population explosion that made Mackay the second fastest growing city in Queensland for more than a decade
  • the economy of the city was made buoyant by steady sugar prices and co-operatively owned sugar mills which led to money being retained within the community

Discover the historic architecture in Mackay and surrounds