FOR most of us, the idea of spending more than $2 million on a property only to demolish it at earliest convenience is unthinkable, but local architect Stephanie Keays believes we might need to get used to the idea.
Plenty of Toowoomba residents have admired the beautiful brick and tile home at 2 East St over the years during charity events and open gardens.
This week it was razed to the ground, stunning local residents and walkers.
The home was built in 1956 for GH Griffiths, who ran the Toowoomba Foundry.
Ms Keays said most people were guilty of not placing great value on things created during their lifetime, meaning there would be plenty of homes built from the 1940s through to the 1970s looking squarely at a similar fate if people didn't take their cultural value seriously.
"I'm an architect and I guess there is a place for new buildings, but this will be a challenge over the next 20 to 30 years as land like this becomes more desirable," she said.
"There are lots of homes built in the '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s that we don't really value now and I think there will be special ones that will go."
She said a home in that area was not covered by heritage protection and there was no legal reason developers couldn't demolish it in favour of a modern home.
The only thing passionate residents could do was lobby for better protection of homes with cultural and social value before they shared the same fate.
"It's a timely warning for people that if there is something that they really value they should speak up," she said.
"There are two levels of protection.
"At the state level it has to be of significance for the state of Queensland, so maybe a governor or famous architect, or anyone really significant, lived there.
"It's a pretty straight forward process for that and any individual can do the research, find out its history and look at the criteria; you don't have to be the owner to do it.
"The local level is a bit trickier because it tends to just focus on character areas and once you fall outside that there is nothing to protect individual places.
"Really that then becomes a lobbying thing letting council know you care, because if they got 30 phone calls saying this is really special, they might respond differently."
Home owners Emma and David MacTaggart said they never bought the home with the intention of demolishing it, but found their planned renovation just wasn't feasible.
"We had always planned a restoration, but when we discovered a stream running under the house it wasn't doable," Mrs MacTaggart said.
"The foundations were simply brick piers unable to support a suspended flat roof."
She said the house was single brick and contained a large amount of asbestos, so they made the decision to return to the original plans drawn up by Mrs Griffiths, who wanted the flat roof, but was unable to manage it at the time.
She said before the demolition took place, they stripped the home of any significant features, which would be re-used on the new home when it was built.
She said they also had plans to restore the gardens to their former glory after most of the bluestone retaining walls were displaced and destroyed in floods.
The new home would sit directly over the former home's footprint.