Click or flick across for more photos of the old staircase.
THE fate of the hand-crafted staircase inside the Albury Art Gallery remains up in the air as the $10.5 million redevelopment begins.
The cedar staircase can’t be re-used as part of the major makeover due to its hand rail heights being smaller than the building code requirements and will be placed in storage when it is removed.
Albury Council has been approached by Archdeacon Peter MacLeod-Miller about the staircase being given a new home at another historic Albury landmark, Adamshurst.
But a council spokesman said no decision had been made about its future disposal.
The staircase leads to the chamber area of the former town hall building and was used by some of the city’s early civic leaders including Alfred Waugh, Stuart Logan, Percy Burrows and Cleaver Bunton.
It will be replaced by a lift with a carrying capacity of three tonnes to enable future heavy exhibit items being transported above ground level.
Zauner Construction has moved in to start the 14-month redevelopment with a workforce of 450 expected to be inducted onto the site before its re-opening in the middle of next year.
The art gallery is the second big project within the QEII Square area Zauner has secured.
It built the Library Museum on an old car park — it was opened in 2007.
Site manager Andrew Dean said Zauner was aware of the importance of the art gallery redevelopment.
“When it is finally finished I think people will be pretty happy,” he said.
The redeveloped art gallery will bring together the former art gallery building and Burrows House.
They will be linked by an internal walkway with the main entrance to the new gallery off Dean Street being via the space between the two buildings.
A signature element of the redevelopment will be a 30-metre-long and 9.5-metre-high doubled curved wall inside the entrance.
The original facade of Burrows House, dating back to the 1860s, is being revived in the redevelopment, which will require the removal of the current frontage that was added in the 1920s.
Burrows House will be the initial focus of the redevelopment before attention turns to the current art gallery building.
Additions to the current art gallery in the 1950s and 1980s will also be demolished and replaced with larger exhibition areas and the creation of a cafe and restaurant onto QEII Square.