Efforts by council and the Katoomba Chamber of Commerce and Community (KCCC) are under way to restore the art deco building facades lining the streets of Katoomba’s town centre.
Members from both organisations met late last year to discuss applying for NSW Government grants to encourage owners of heritage buildings to paint their facades by providing funding on a dollar-per-dollar spent basis.
The grant was offered to landlords of the buildings 10 years ago but the uptake was very low.
The council and KCCC are working on strategies to maximise the grant’s effectiveness if it could be secured again later this year.
Meanwhile KCCC is compiling a contact list of all owners of commercial buildings within Katoomba’s heritage precinct and will consider writing letters to them to encourage them to do their bit to make the town look its best.
In October the owners of the art-deco building containing the Rivers clothing shop in Katoomba Street re-painted the buildings’s facades on their own accord — a move welcomed by KCCC president Mark Jarvis.
A Notice of Motion penned by Ward 1 Labor Clr Don McGregor received unanimous support and will result in council officers approaching the owners the building housing the iconic Paragon Cafe with the aim of having them restore and maintain the street-facing facade.
Council officers will seek to gain the building owner’s support to seek heritage funding to supplement the required building maintenance and upgrade, given the long-standing historic reputation of the Paragon Cafe as a tourist attraction.
The interior of the Paragon Cafe, under new management since 2011, is looking great after a recent refurbishment.