Vacy Hall is listed by the the Queensland Heritage Council and is listed in the Register of the National Estate as a place of National Historical significance because it demonstrates aspects of Queensland’s history, in particular the development of Toowoomba as a prestigious residential location for Darling Downs pastoralists.
The Queensland Heritage Council entry says that Vacy Hall “is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a substantial, late 19th century masonry (ie brick and concrete) Toowoomba residence, and exhibits a range of aesthetic characteristics valued by the community, in particular the contribution of the building and the grounds, through form, scale, materials and plantings to the streetscape of Russell Street and to the Toowoomba townscape; and the quality and crafting of the materials and finishes, including decorative brickwork, parquet floor, cedar joinery and step-out bays.”
Vacy Hall was first built on site in 1873 and after fire destroyed the building in 1898, it was replaced by the current masonry building in 1899.
Vacy Hall was an architectural collaboration between a father, James Marks and his son, Harry Marks. It was the last project (prior to retirement) in a distinguished career for James Marks who was the most prominent architect in Toowoomba at the time and this project saw the baton passed on to his son, Harry.
The architectural profession in Queensland still regards Harry Marks as the pioneer of sustainable design because he was so innovative in the ways he used design to deal with extremes of climate. To this day, the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Qld presents an annual award called the “Harry Marks Award for Sustainable Design”