Tenterfield's national monument project will take a step forward this week when tenders are called to carry out work at the Old Tenterfield Star building.
Six of the eight buildings already identified for development as part of the National Monument Project have been approved and the old Star building at 325 Rouse Street will be the first one to have its federation-style facade rebuilt.
Greg Sauer, who chairs the Tenterfield National Monument Association, said they will call for tenders on Friday, and he was optimistic work could start before the end of next month.
"We're ready to start, provided we can get some builders," Mr Sauer said.
He said local builders had already been contacted so they could tender for the work.
Heritage expert Robert Perry is behind the bold plan to develop the Tenterfield CBD into a national monument, restoring federation edifices and enticing tourists.
The project to turn Tenterfield streets into a museum showcasing its rich history and connection to prominent people and events is in its first stage.
While there are eight buildings included in stage one, the project will eventually see many buildings returned to federation style facades.
The eight central business district sites identified as the first to undergo a facelift also include the Federation Bakery on High Street, the post office, the National Buildings (housing Alford & Duff etc.), the Premier Boot Depot (Mitchell's Shoes), the Noted Cheap Store (Tenterfield Laundrette), Sing Sing & Co (now Tenterfield Homemakers), and the Lyric PictureTheatre.
The project is endeavouring to reconstruct the frontage of the buildings, including verandahs, in a manner that resembles the original as closely as possible.
The National Monument project focuses solely on the area from the shop facade to the kerb, aiming to create a streetscape which transports tourists back to the days of federation in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Mr Sauer said the Star building was first cab of the rank this week as the designs were drawn up and ready to go.
"We're hopeful that we'll be in a position to sign a contract soon after with the successful tenderer, but due to the covid and how busy the builders are, the start date may not be immediate," Mr Sauer said.
But he added the work would have to be completed within the grant timeframe.
Major JF Thomas commissioned the design of the old Star building and funded its construction in the last year he owned the newspaper. The premises were designed by a Glen Innes Architect, F. J. Madigan, and built by Henry Cooper in 1913.
Mr Sauer said each shopfront would not take long to complete.
"Because we're only adding facades or awnings, each project is only a matters of weeks rather than months to complete," he said.
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