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Destroyed by fire and abandoned since 2002, the Red Hill Skate Arena remains as a burnt-out, ruined shell

David Goran

Red Hill Skate Arena is an abandoned skate park at the corner of Musgrave Road and Enoggera Terrace in Red Hill, an inner suburb of Brisbane, in the Australian state of Queensland. This historic building dates back to the 1920s and provided decades of roller-skating fun for local youth until it was destroyed by fire on Boxing Day 2002. Photos: darkday/Flickr

The skate arena is located on the corner of Musgrave Road and Enoggera Terrace.

The skate arena is located on the corner of Musgrave Road and Enoggera Terrace.

 

Red Hill Skate Arena was built in 1920.

The historic Red Hill Skate Arena dates back to the 1920s

 

A big pile of burnt and melted roller skates sit in the burnt out projection room of the Skate Arena.

A big pile of burnt and melted roller skates sit in the burnt out projection room of the Skate Arena.

The twenty-three-year-old John Cameron Wright was charged with arson, break-and-enter and stealing. Wright surrendered himself to police the day after the fire.

The resulting clash of dark fire damage and brightly coloured paint make the abandoned Red Hill Skate Arena a surreal place. The building has been a target of graffiti vandals and on occasions, public entry to the building has not been secured.

Thoroughly gutted by the blaze, what remained of the crumbling concrete walls soon became a blank canvas for graffiti artists.

Thoroughly gutted by the blaze, what remained of the crumbling concrete walls soon became a blank canvas for graffiti artists.

 

Roller skates abandoned after the blaze.

Roller skates abandoned after the blaze.

When the Red Hill Skate Arena was at its height in popularity, it was fueled by music – from 1950s rock n’ roll to the disco explosion of the 1970s. Now, the condition of the rink’s interior raises questions about the condition and safety of the building.

The property left derelict since destroyed by arson six years ago, but not everyone is happy to leave the dangerous, derelict building to the mercy of the elements and the property has been sold paving the way for the development of a residential and retail complex.

The historic skate arena at Red Hill is at the centre of a long battle between developers and residents.

The historic skate arena at Red Hill is at the center of a long battle between developers and residents.

 

Long-forgotten skates, shoes and wheels still strewn about the ruin add to its eerie atmosphere.

Long-forgotten skates, shoes, and wheels still strewn about the ruin add to its eerie atmosphere.

 

It is not known whether the contracted owners propose to redevelop the site.

The historic skate park has been sold ‘conditionally’ for an undisclosed price.

Real estate brokers, DTZ, confirmed the 2,000 square meter property was contracted for sale but declined to name the new owners. Mark Evans from DTZ said the burnt out shell of the building was not a danger to public safety as it was regularly inspected by the council. Earlier this century, the building was the subject of an unsuccessful bid to have it listed on the Queensland heritage register.