E CITY COUN RISBAN CIL AB HERITAGE TRAIL
ver Disco BD e n ’s C Brisba t fron River
RE TAKING THIS BEFO
Each heritage site in this guide offers a uniquely Brisbane experience. Take the whole walk or visit just those that relate to your area of interest. Flip out the map to locate all the sites. This walk is quite long, covering one side of the Town Reach of the Brisbane River. Some parts of the walk may not be wholly accessible for the disabled. Cross-river ferry trips can be included to return to the starting point of the trail, so you would need to be prepared for the costs involved. Fare details are available from TransLink:
TransLink Ph 13 1230 www.translink.com.au/travel-information/how-to/how-to-use-the-ferry
Be prepared â€“ wear good walking shoes and a hat. You can stop and rest, or buy refreshments at various points along the trail. Many of the buildings are privately owned, so please respect the privacy of the owners. If youâ€™re organising a group, read the trail ahead and ensure all the places you want to see are accessible to all parties and/or are open. Some sites are available for inspection and a few offer guided tours. Please phone ahead to check the opening hours of the following:
Ph 3365 8999 www.customshouse.com.au
City Botanic Gardens Ph 3403 8888 www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/ facilities-recreation/parks gardens/city-botanic-gardens QUT Art Museum Ph 3138 5370 www.artmuseum.qut.edu.au Queensland Maritime Museum
Ph 3844 5361 www.maritimemuseum.com.au
Old Government House (QUT Gardens Point)
Ph 3138 8005 www.ogh.qut.edu.au/contact
Brisbane is well serviced by a network of public transport options. Call TransLink on 13 1230 or visit www.translink.com.au for information on all train, bus, ferry and CityCat services. Their operators will give you information regarding transport options, timetables, fare costs and bus stop/terminal locations. One call does it all. Tickets can be purchased on the spot when boarding most buses (except pre-paid buses), ferries or CityCats and from most train stations. go card is an electronic ticket that lets you travel seamlessly on all Brisbane bus, train and ferry services. You can buy and top up go card at hundreds of locations in South East Queensland or online at www.translink.com.au The Transport Information Centre (TIC) is a one-stop shop for information and advice on public transport (buses, trains and ferries) and tips for healthy and environmentally friendly transport options. The TIC is located at King George Square station, Ann Street concourse in the Brisbane CBD. For more tourist and visitor information call the Visitor Information Centres listed below.
Visitor Information Centre Queen Street Mall
Ph 3006 6290
Ph 3006 6200 www.brisbanemarketing.com.au
South Bank Information Centre Stanley Street Plaza
Ph 3867 2051
For additional information visit
For additional information about heritage sites in Brisbane visit Brisbane’s Living Heritage Network
IA BRIDG TOR E VIC
NORTH QUAY FERRY TERMINAL
EN STREET MA QUE
ELIZABETH STREET ALBERT STREET
MARY STREET SOUTH BANK 1 & 2 FERRY TERMINAL
23 ALICE STREET
QUT FERRY TERMINAL
ANIC GARDENS BOT
QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
SOUTH BANK 3 FERRY TERMINAL
BRIDGE ILL DW
RIVER PLAZA FERRY TERMINAL
CAPTIAN COOK BRIDGE
CREEK STREET MARKET STREET
RIVERSIDE FERRY TERMINAL
EAGLE STREET PIER FERRY TERMINAL
HOLMAN STREET FERRY TERMINAL
13 12 THORNTON STREET FERRY TERMINAL
ISBANE CITY COUNC A BR IL HERITAGE TRAIL
STORY BRIDG E
Eagle Street Drinking Fountain
Former Coal Board Building
Former Spencerâ€™s Building
Former Martin and Co Warehouse
Port Office Hotel
Former Port Office
Smellie and Co
Former Smellie and Co Warehouse
Former Britannia Foundry
City Botanic Gardens
Former Watson Brothers Building
Former HB Sales Building
The Brisbane Synagogue
Former Immigration Depot
QUT Gardens Point Campus
Old Government House
South Brisbane Dry Dock and Queensland Maritime Museum
Brisbane City Council is committed to retaining and celebrating Brisbane’s rich heritage. Through initiatives such as this heritage trail, Council takes residents and visitors on a journey into the city’s past. The heritage of the Brisbane River provides an insight into the past while at the same time delivering endless opportunity for the future of the city. From providing for the region’s indigenous inhabitants, through to the important role it played during war – accommodating vessels and soldiers; from housing vital industry and export businesses, to its renewal as a vibrant hub of residential and urban activity; the Brisbane River holds a wealth of history.
Please note: Every attempt has been made to ensure the information contained within this guide is correct at the time of printing. The products, services and information given in this publication are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at any time. The Heritage Trail is not intended to be an exhaustive list of heritage experiences found in Brisbane. Inclusion or exclusion is not to be construed as endorsement of a particular operation. The publisher, Brisbane City Council, expressly disclaims liability to an entity for loss, costs or damages of whatsoever nature arising out of or connected with its reliance on the contents of this brochure. All material is subject to copyright.
Images used are courtesy of: John Oxley Library (JOL), State Library of Queensland
‘Reflections on the River’ takes you on a journey around the Town Reach of the Brisbane River. In our modern city the river is primarily a recreational venue, prized for its ecological and aesthetic values. On this Heritage Trail you will encounter places that reflect the experiences and perceptions of another age – a time when agriculture, bureaucracy, commercial enterprise and industry all flourished within this significant riverside locality. For six thousand years the Indigenous inhabitants of the region wove their lifestyle around this river, using the thriving riverine ecosystem as a source of food. From 1825 the Aboriginal people experienced radical changes to their way of life when a British penal settlement was established in the area they knew as ‘Meanjin’. The penal settlement was deliberately isolated and communication with the wider world was only by sea. Supplies, mail, and personnel all moved by ship, making the river essential to the settlement’s establishment and survival. After almost two decades the prison closed, and with the coming of free colonists after 1842 the frontier town of Brisbane emerged. The river provided the conduit through which imports, exports and immigrants flowed. Fed by the profits of growing trade and spurred on by the economic boom of the mid 1880s, the temporary buildings of convict times gave way to a city built in stone. Brisbane emerged as a city characterised by typical Victorian energy and optimism.
The growth and success of the Victorian era, though punctuated by times of economic depression and natural disasters, continued into the 20th century. By the 1930s, the rise of the motor car, population growth, and another economic depression prompted the construction of the Story Bridge, permanently altering the character of the Town Reach. The calamitous wars of the 20th century are also part of the riverâ€™s history. During WW a military hospital was established on the banks of the river, and throughout WW Brisbane was an important US and Allied naval base. After the war the port was steadily moved downstream and the wharves, warehouses and workshops made way for office blocks, eateries, residential apartments and recreational spaces. Modern Brisbane is a diverse, multi-cultural city that celebrates the river. An annual Brisbane River Festival encourages us to experience and embrace this magnificent waterway. This Heritage Trail is one of the many river experiences available to you. Its purpose is to recall some of the endeavours and aspirations of the people who built, traded, lived and worked along the banks of the river, and who ultimately helped shape the city. It offers us a greater awareness of the history of the river and reflects its influence on the history of Brisbane.
Pettigrewâ€™s Brisbane Sawmills, 1861, JOL
CREEK STREET MARKET STREET
6 7 8
RIVERSIDE FERRY TERMINAL
This walk commences in Queen Street at the old Customs House. Customs House is readily 3 accessible by public transport. You can return to this point by CityCat from QUT or South Bank. STORY BRIDG E
EAGLE STREET PIER FERRY TERMINAL
HOLMAN STREET FERRY TERMINAL
13 12 THORNTON STREET FERRY TERMINAL
Customs House, Petrie Bight, circa 1920, JOL
In its heyday, this building formed an administrative gateway to the city and the port. The closure in 1842 of the penal settlement at Moreton Bay opened the way for commercial enterprise in the sparsely populated outpost. Brisbane was not a self-sufficient town, and shipping was crucial to its development. Exports of timber and wool were matched by imports of manufactured goods and foodstuffs. Not to let a potential source of revenue go untapped, the colonial government imposed taxes on this trade from as early as 1846. Opened in 1889, the impressive copper-domed Customs House reflected the growing prosperity of maritime trade in the colony. The grand facades of the building, designed to demonstrate the economic strength and stability of the colony, address both Queen Street and the Brisbane River. With the removal of port facilities by the late twentieth century, there was little need for a central city river-based Customs headquarters. The building is now in the ownership of The University of Queensland and is used as a functions centre and art gallery. Customs House is open seven days from 9am.
Proceed along Queen Street and turning right cross at the traffic lights to the centre island. Cross Eagle Street to theâ€Ś
Intersection of Queen and Eagle Streets, 1889, JOL
Eagle Street Drinking Fountain
This public drinking fountain was completed in 1880 as part of a beautification project. The municipal council funded the majority of the work, and the remainder was raised by public subscription. This led to much confusion as to the original purpose of the fountain, as donations were also being sought around the same time for a memorial to James Mooney, a volunteer fireman who died in 1877 in the line of duty. Although an official Mooney memorial was erected above his grave in Toowong cemetery, the Eagle Street drinking fountain became inextricably associated with the young fireman. In 1988 Brisbane City Council finally gave official recognition to a persistent piece of Brisbane folklore, adding a tablet honouring Mooney and other firemen who died on duty.
New York born James Mooney was fatally injured when a barrel of spirits exploded while he was fighting a fire in a Queen Street store in 1877. The 22-year-old member of the City Volunteer Fire Brigade was the first Brisbane fireman to die in the line of duty. During the twentieth century another nine Brisbane firemen were fatally injured while protecting life and property.
Return via the same route to Eagle Street and turn right. Walk to the Riverside Centre and make your way through the plaza to the riverside. From here you can view, in all its grandeur…
View of almost completed Story Bridge circa 1939, JOL
This functional yet elegant bridge has become an icon of Brisbane. Begun during the 1930s depression, it was built to alleviate unemployment and to address Brisbane’s future traffic needs. It is one of the largest steel cantilever bridges in the world. The total cost of construction was £1.6 million, an enormous sum for the time, but this was recouped through a toll in just seven years. The project, managed by Evans Deakin Hornibrook, employed on average 320 workers in each of the five years it took to build the bridge. The Story Bridge was a major feat of engineering, which unlike the Sydney Harbour Bridge, was almost entirely designed and built by Australians from Australian materials. Its construction was a measure of the confidence and faith held in the future of the city. That it was undertaken at a time of depression and uncertainty is even more remarkable.
Ships moored in Petrie’s Bight, circa 1875, JOL 6
This stretch of river, winding its way from Kangaroo Point to Gardens Point, has loomed large in the story of Brisbane. Many ships, both sail and steam, berthed here in the area known as Town Reach. Vital to Queensland’s development, the shipping industry carried wealth and prosperity into the state and the city. Once the flourishing centre of Queensland’s maritime trade, an array of shops, eateries and office spaces now stand in place of a thriving concentration of wharves and warehouses. From here you can imagine the river filled with sailing ships and steamships from ports foreign and domestic. Barques, brigantines, full rigged ships, paddle steamers, tramp steamers, grain carriers, and passenger ships all took their place beside these wharves, discharging their cargoes and picking up new ones for return voyages. At busy times ships waited at anchor in the middle of the river for their turn in the hands of the stevedores. This was also the naval heart of Queensland. Across the river are the Naval Stores, the former headquarters of Queensland’s colonial navy. The gunboats Gayundah and Paluma had their home base here and their robust grey forms were often seen on the river. So too the occasional British warship, visiting as part of the Imperial fleet’s worldwide duties. The port facilities remained here into the twentieth century. As ships grew in size and capacity however, Town Reach could no longer accommodate them and wharf facilities were moved downstream. The largely abandoned wharves were eventually demolished to make way for commercial areas, office space and lately for residential use. The only vessels now occupying the river are pleasure yachts, the exotic names and homeports of which remind us of days gone by – days when hardworking trading vessels carried great quantities of Queensland’s export goods right out of the heart of the city, and brought in all kinds of wares from the far corners of the globe.
When you descend to the boardwalk turn to your right and make your way along to the Eagle Street Pier. Restaurants and cafes abound on this stretch of the river, and many open well into the evening should you wish to come back for a riverside dining experience. At the Eagle Street pier take the ramp to the upper level. Continue past the restaurants and exit to Eagle Street via the covered walkway. Turn left and continue into Mary Street. Just beyond Waterfront Place is…
Naldham House, circa 1935, JOL
Nestled behind stands of lush trees, Naldham House was the home of the Australian United Steam Navigation Company (AUSN) from 1888. You can read more about the building’s history on an informative plaque at the near end of the building. Note the flood markers on the side of the building, particularly the record high of 1893. Naldham House is our entry point to a largely intact nineteenth century precinct. This area contains a number of sites that reflect the importance of shipping to Brisbane’s commercial heritage. Sometimes known as Frog’s Hollow because of its original low geographic location and swampy nature, the area was a curious blend of warehouses, large engineering works, foundries and small workshops, of mercantile agencies, brothels, hotels, boarding houses, and residences. All of these were adjacent to busy wharves, a ferry terminal and the Botanic Gardens, one of the few developed recreational spaces of the time. It was a curious blend of people too, with tradesmen, merchants, stevedores, shopgirls, labourers, sailors and prostitutes rubbing shoulders in this busy commercial district. A variety of class and ethnic groups worked, lived, and relaxed in this area, giving it a vibrancy and cosmopolitan character of its own. 8
Move along the Mary Street frontage of Naldham House, and cross Felix Street at the traffic lights. Continue along Mary Street. On the left is the...
Former Coal Board Building
Scottish born squatters William Allan and William Graham, who were also Queensland politicians, built this warehouse as a speculative investment during the economic boom years of the late 1880s. It was designed by prominent architect Richard Gailey, and makes a significant aesthetic contribution to the street corner. Through its working life it housed businesses that distributed a variety of imported goods including china and glass, produce, leather goods, and hardware. The Queensland Government purchased the building in 1968, and the Coal Board and other entities used it for office space.
Cross Edward Street and turn left. Continue until you are opposite…
Former Spencer’s Building
Not to be confused with the larger, newer, Spencer Chambers beside it, Spencer’s Building was actually built as an investment by Frances Jones, wife of Reverend Thomas Jones who had arrived in Brisbane with the city’s first Anglican Archbishop, E W Tufnell, in 1860. Completed in early 1890, this warehouse had an inauspicious start in life. It was inundated by floods in 1890 and 1893, and went largely unoccupied during the subsequent depression. It was not until the turn of the century that the building housed its first longterm occupants. Leonard Spencer, coachbuilder and ironmonger, ran his business from here for 20 years until he built the 1920s warehouse next door. With its finely executed detailing, this building is an attractive contribution to the collection of Victorian warehouses that is a feature of this end of Edward Street. The recently named Spencer’s Lane was a rear service lane for this building.
Adjacent to this building isâ€Ś
Edward Street during March 1890 flood, JOL
Former Martin and Co Warehouse
Situated close to the riverfront, this attractive warehouse was built in 1886 and was home to a string of merchants and shipping agents for nearly 80 years. The first tenant was R. Martin and Co Ironmongers, prominent ship-chandlers, riggers and sail makers. The near-waterfront location was ideal for such a business at a time when many sailing and steam ships visited this part of the Brisbane River. Hardworking nineteenth century ships needed constant maintenance, and from here Martin and Co were able to supply a range of much needed parts and stores to keep them fit for sea. Yachting supplies and sails were also stocked. The building served a number of other purposes through the twentieth century and was acquired by the Brisbane and Area Water Board in 1982. It is now a retail store. At the lights turn left and cross Edward Street. Stand in front of Martin and Co and diagonally opposite viewâ€Ś
Port Office Hotel, circa 1929, JOL 10
Port Office Hotel
Situated in a maritime and engineering precinct, pubs such as this one were certain to do well. John Kelly erected the Shamrock Hotel on this site around 1864. It underwent substantial alterations in 1876. These changes gave it the basic form that can still be seen today. In 1888 the hotel was described as being extremely commodious, containing (besides public and private bars and an attractive clubroom) fifteen bedrooms, a drawing room, two bathrooms, and four public rooms on the ground floor. In 1909 a new licensee renamed it the Port Office Hotel due to its proximity to that building. ‘Modernisation’ in 1955 led to the removal of all verandahs, lacework, canopies and chimneystacks. Recent work has been more sympathetic. Cross Margaret Street to…
Port Office, circa 1889, JOL
Former Port Office
Shipping movements required control, and the end of Edward Street has long been associated with the regulation of shipping. The Department of Harbours and Marine and its forerunners have occupied the site since the early 1860s. The Port Office building you see here was completed in 1880 at a cost of £8811, providing offices for the harbourmaster, pilots and staff of the Marine Board and the Shipping Office. The building was extended in 1885, and more additions were made in the 1920s. In 1988 the Department of Harbours and Marine moved to a new location and since then the building has been restored to its original configuration. All later additions were removed and the distinctive balconies reconstructed as per the original plans. It now forms part of the Stamford Plaza hotel. 11
On the opposite side of the street is the red brick warehouse still adorned with the name of its original owners…
10 Smellie and Co This attractive warehouse was constructed in 1895-96 for importers Smellie and Co. ‘Smellie’s’ began as an iron foundry and engineering business in the 1860s, undertaking all aspects of heavy engineering and metal casting. They manufactured cast iron posts and balustrading for buildings, heavy plant and equipment, and even steamships and locomotives. The Louisa, the first iron steamship built in Brisbane, was constructed by Smellies in 1872. Always successful, they moved into importing in the 1880s bringing in machinery, tools, and hardware. This dictated the construction or purchase of a number of warehouses over the next few years and this building is one example. This building is notable for its red brick construction (something unusual in Brisbane) and the large arched windows give a sense of airy grandeur. This building is now used as premium office space. Proceed past the former Port Office and the Stamford Plaza to…
Naval Offices and adjacent Water Police office, circa 1946, JOL
11 Naval Offices The Queensland Marine Defence Force (QMDF) was formed in 1884, a time when defence was the responsibility of individual colonial governments. Queensland commanded a small fleet including the gunboats Gayundah and Paluma, the torpedo boat Mosquito, the piquet boat Midge, and the minelayer Miner. Naval defence of the colony also relied on part-time units of the Queensland Naval Brigade to man vessels and gun positions in time of war. 12
The Naval Offices were constructed between 1900-01 as Headquarters for the QMDF. This building represents the Queensland Governmentâ€™s acknowledgment of its continuing responsibility towards naval defence even on the eve of Federation. Although the Commonwealth administered the naval forces after Federation, the Naval Offices were not handed over to the Federal Government until 1911, the year of the official creation of the Royal Australian Navy. Proceed along the footpath toâ€Ś
Building of Smellie & Co. Ltd. Hardware, Brisbane, Queensland, circa 1920, JOL
12 Former Smellie and Co Warehouse Originally only three storeys high, this warehouse was constructed in 1888 for Smellie and Co. Two storeys were added to the building in 1895 as their enormous business success made more space essential. This made it one of the tallest buildings in the city and it dominated this area of town, reflecting the achievements of the company. The building was acquired by the Department of Works in 1945, but has recently been adapted as residential apartments.
Around the corner in Alice Street is...
13 Former Britannia Foundry The two-storey Britannia Foundry was built for Harvey Sargeant and Co in 1887, a time when the heavy engineering industry was blossoming in Queensland. Much of the ironwork that fed the 1880s Brisbane building boom was manufactured here. Indeed, most of the block roughly bounded by Edward, Alice, Margaret and Albert streets was taken up with engineering works and foundries at that time. Smellie and Co took over the foundry in 1909 for use as a warehouse. Enter the gateway intoâ€Ś
14 City Botanic Gardens Twenty hectares of riverfront land were originally set aside as gardens in 1828 to enable food crops to be grown for the penal settlement. Nearly three decades later a Botanic Reserve was proclaimed over part of the site. Scientific research was carried out on native plants, and agricultural experiments conducted in the gardens contributed to the development of introduced species as successful commercial crops. The Gardens are now primarily a recreational venue, and the area is one of the larger open spaces in the central business district. It includes Brisbaneâ€™s most mature gardens, studded with rare and unusual botanic species. Continue on the pathway parallel with the river until you reach the second paved path on your right. Follow that through the Gardens, veering to your right, until you arrive at the central rotunda. From the rotunda proceed to the main gates opposite Albert Street. The large sign to your left provides a short but informative history of the Gardens...
Botanic Gardens, circa 1896, JOL 14
As well as being a foundation of prosperity, the river has also been a source of disaster. Several times devastating floods have wrought destruction upon the City of Brisbane. In 1893, three floods hit Brisbane within a fortnight, two of these reaching levels that are the highest in recorded history. Torrential rain, caused by three successive cyclones, combined with storm surges to create severe flooding in the areas of Brisbaneâ€™s central business district, Kangaroo Point and South Brisbane. Lives were lost and many businesses, homes, and livestock were destroyed. The financial cost of the floods was a setback to a city already coping with a severe economic crisis. The river flooded on a number of occasions over the next 80 years, though none of these were on such a severe scale. Brisbane was hit by another disastrous flood in 1974. While not as high as the 1893 flood, it nevertheless cost 14 lives and caused damage to more than 6000 homes and businesses across the city. The 1974 floods are remembered as a time when the citizens of Brisbane, unprepared for such a disaster, rallied together to provide coordinated assistance and relief to those affected. The flooding of 2011, while not as severe in the central city, similarly brought strangers together forming a â€˜mud armyâ€™ to clean up damaged premises.
View from bottom of Margaret St looking south during 1890 flood, JOL 15
Cross Alice Street at the traffic lights, and then cross Albert Street. Continue along Albert Street until you reach Beatrice Lane on your left. Be mindful of traffic and walk to the top of the lane. You are now at the rear of…
Watson Brothers Building, circa 1902, JOL
15 Former Watson Brothers Building This building was constructed in 1887 for Watson Brothers, plumbers, gasfitters, and metalworkers. They had done well during the 1880s boom, and expansion of their business prompted the construction of this £6000 warehouse. Watson’s fabricated the ironwork for the building, and it stands on a site selected for its proximity to both the city centre and the wharf area. A shed and stables were built at the rear of the building, most of which still remains today and is in use as car parking space. It is an excellent and interesting example of a late nineteenth century commercial warehouse. Watson’s remained successful in the twentieth century and carried out much military work during both World Wars. The business ceased to operate in 1961. 16
Continue down the laneway to Margaret Street. Turn left past Watson Brothers and find nestled next door theâ€Ś
16 Former HB Sales Building Marine engineers and metal workers, Smith and Ball, constructed their Acme Engineering Works here in 1913. Prior to World War the Queensland economy went through a major growth period, and light industry continued to be a feature of the inner city. Combined with the Watson Brothers building it forms a rare, surviving light industrial precinct. The building is distinctive for its eclectic mix of architectural styles. From 1930 it was used as a warehouse, and in 1958 chemical wholesaler HB Sales obtained the site, hence the name in large relief on the facade. A little further along the street are other examples of early twentieth century warehouses. These were built in what was a largely residential area during the nineteenth century. On the opposite side of the street isâ€Ś
The Brisbane Synagogue, circa 1906, JOL
17 The Brisbane Synagogue Founded in 1865, the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation had worshipped at a variety of locations until funds were eventually raised to build a permanent place of worship. The design of the synagogue was determined by an architectural competition won by Arthur Morry. The building took 18 months to construct and was completed in 1886. Few changes have been made to the building over the years, though additional stained glass windows were added just prior to the congregationâ€™s centenary. Many of these were memorials to family members murdered during the WW Holocaust. 17
Walk on to the intersection with George Street. From the corner you get a great view across George Street of the elaborate Victorian building known asâ€Ś
18 The Mansions Queensland Premier Boyd Morehead, Treasurer William Pattison, and their business associates financed the construction of this property in 1889. In the atmosphere of prosperity that characterised the late 1880s, property investment was common among those who could afford it. Close to Government House, Parliament House and the Queensland Club this property, and others like it in George Street, were shrewd investments. They attracted the wealthier members of Brisbane society as tenants. Early residents of this striking row of terrace houses were mainly professional people including Dr Lillian Cooper, Queenslandâ€™s first female doctor. The building was acquired by the Queensland Government in 1954 and has been substantially refurbished.
Mansions building, circa 1908, JOL
Dr Lillian Cooper, circa 1859, JOL
Lillian Cooper was the colony’s first female doctor and Australia’s first female surgeon. Arriving from England in 1891, she immediately set up a medical practice in The Mansions. Despite a chilly reception by Brisbane’s all-male medical profession, in a few years Dr Cooper’s practice was busy and successful. She was particularly popular among Brisbane’s socialites and the wives of the well-to-do. Lillian Cooper paved the way for other women to begin medical careers. By 1907 almost a dozen female doctors were practising in Queensland, four of these in Brisbane.
Cross George Street to the Mansions, turn right and cross Margaret Street toâ€Ś
Harris Terrace at the corner of George and Margaret Street, circa 1869, JOL
19 Harris Terrace Local businessman and parliamentarian George Harris built this charming row of attached houses in 1867. The construction of nearby Parliament House may have prompted his speculative action, and his lessees included professionals and Members of Parliament. For a time the property was leased as separate residences but by the mid-twentieth century tenants included a garage and mixed businesses. In 1958 it was purchased by the Queensland Government for use as office space and, unusually for the era, was restored to its original appearance in 1985. Harris Terrace is a reminder of an earlier time when this part of the city was a prime inner city residential area.
Turn back to Margaret Street and walk to William Street. Turn right and proceed along William Street to the pedestrian crossing. Cross to your left to theâ€Ś
Immigration Depot at William Street, circa 1868, JOL
20 Former Immigration Depot Built in 1865-66, the Immigration Depot provided migrants with a staging point from which to begin their new life in the colony. After a voyage sometimes lasting as long as six months, passengers disembarked in Moreton Bay, were transferred to local vessels and brought into Brisbane. On arrival the migrants were temporarily housed at the Depot until they were able to find work or residence. The number of immigrants was particularly high during the early 1860s. Over the two years in which the Depot was erected, one shipping company alone carried more than 21,000 immigrants to Brisbane. The Immigration Depot was re-established at ‘Yungaba’ on Kangaroo Point in 1887 and the William Street building was converted to government offices. It is now the headquarters of the National Trust of Queensland.
TO BRISB RATING ANE
Immigration was recognised as an important factor in the economic development of the new colony of Queensland. The Black Ball Line, a British shipping company, had an agreement with the Queensland Government to bring out free, assisted and fare-paying passengers to the colony. In Britain, the Emigration Commissioners also chartered vessels to carry free and assisted immigrants to Queensland. In the days of sail, early voyages to Queensland from Britain came around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope via the trade wind belt. The Black Ball clipper Young Australia made the trip to Moreton Bay in just 82 days, a record time in 1862. Returning vessels loaded wool, timber, tallow, cotton, hides, bone and skins ready for British markets. This trade made the carriage of passengers to the Antipodes commercially viable.
Adjacent is the…
Former Commissariat Stores building in Brisbane, circa 1928, JOL
21 Commissariat Store Now the headquarters and museum of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland (RHSQ), this building is one of only two convict-built structures remaining in Brisbane. The Store was erected in 1829 to secure the food, clothing and tools used at the convict settlement. For more than 130 years it remained in use as a government store building. Originally two storeys, a third floor was added in 1913. From 1960 it was used by a series of government departments before it was occupied by the RHSQ. The story of the Commissariat Store, and indeed of early Brisbane, is now told in the RHSQ Museum. Brisbane’s other convict structure is the Old Windmill on Wickham Terrace. Turn back along William Street, and continue past the former Immigration Depot. The Neville Bonner Building commemorates Australia’s first Indigenous parliamentarian and statesman, who devoted his life to the service of his people and represented Queensland in the Federal Senate. This area has changed much over the years and in the nineteenth century included the site of one of Brisbane’s important early industries.
Advertisement for Pettigrew’s Sawmill, 1861, JOL
IGREW’S SAWMIL L PETT AND WHARVES
At the bottom of Margaret Street was a wharf precinct that included Pettigrew’s Sawmill. William Pettigrew, a Scottish migrant, came to Brisbane in 1849 as part of the Reverend Dr JD Lang’s emigration scheme. He trained as a surveyor but eventually made his fortune by establishing Brisbane’s first steam powered sawmill in 1853. Pettigrew purchased logs from all over the region and floated them down the smaller rivers and creeks into Moreton Bay. From there they were towed upstream to the mill. The mill, and a small shipping company he also established, thrived until the 1890s economic depression.
At the Margaret Street intersection, cross both William and Margaret Streets. Proceed to Alice Street and cross at the traffic lights. The imposing structure in front of you isâ€Ś
Parliament House, circa 1875, JOL
22 Parliament House When Queensland separated from New South Wales in 1859 it had no seat of government, and the first parliament met in the former convict barracks in Queen Street. Three years after the laying of its foundation stone in 1864, the new Queensland Parliament building was opened. Financial constraints meant that only the George Street frontage was erected at the time. The colonnades were built in 1878, and it was not until 1887 that the Alice Street frontage was commenced. Designed and overseen by successive Colonial Architects Parliament House was completed in 1889.
Alice Street ferry, circa 1898, JOL 24
ENSLAND LEGISLATIV E COUNCIL
Although established under the Westminster system of an upper house Legislative Council and a lower house Legislative Assembly, the Queensland Parliament is unique in that it no longer has an upper house. Members of the Legislative Council were appointed for life by the Governor, and were not elected by the population. A traditionally conservative body, they soon came into conflict with the advent of Labor members into parliament. A shrewd Labor Premier ‘Red Ted’ Theodore arranged for appointment of a large number of Labor members to the Legislative Council. In 1921 the Council voted itself out of existence, and by 1922 Queensland had only a lower house to represent the interests of the people of the State.
Pause by the corner of George Street. Diagonally opposite, and partially concealed by a magnificent fig tree, is the…
The Queensland Club, corner of George and Alice Sts, 1912, JOL
23 Queensland Club Following the tradition of British private clubs for influential members of the community, the Queensland Club was established in 1859 for men of common interest and socio-economic backgrounds. Membership largely comprised landed gentry, politicians, and business and professional men. Begun in 1882 and opened in 1884, this building was designed by prominent architect FDG Stanley and built by J Smith and Sons. It was designed to provide a recreational venue and accommodation for members, and originally contained 41 bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a clubroom, dining room, billiard room, smoking room and various kitchens and servants’ rooms. Changes have since been made to the internal layout of the club, though it still functions as a ‘home away from home’ for its membership. 25
Turn right into George Street and continue into the grounds…
24 QUT Gardens Point Campus This was the first site of the University of Queensland, established in 1909. The University remained here until 1945 when a new campus was constructed at St Lucia. The site was then occupied by the Central Technical College which became the Queensland Institute of Technology in 1965, eventually evolving into a university in its own right in 1989. The building immediately to your right as you enter the campus is part of the fabric of the original university. A convenient map illustrates the route through the campus to the Goodwill Bridge. Follow the main walkway through the site. Note the former Library Building, built in 1935, and now the QUT Art Museum. Entry is free. From the Art Museum follow the pathway around to…
Old Government House, circa 1879, JOL
25 Old Government House The colony of Queensland was created in 1859 and immediately plans were put in place for the construction of a government residence to accommodate the first Governor Sir George Bowen and his family. Completed in 1862, Government House is smaller than other government residences constructed around Australia. It was intended as a temporary residence to be superseded by a larger one in the country. It was also somewhat of an experiment as the architect, Charles Tiffin, put considerable thought into adapting it for Queensland’s climate. The successive Governors of Queensland resided here until 1909. Guided tours of Old Government House are available by prior arrangement. 26
Continue on the roadway past Old Government House. On the plaza level follow the paved pathway curving off to your left. This will lead you to the Goodwill Bridge, Brisbaneâ€™s first crossriver pedestrian bridge. It was named to commemorate the Goodwill Games that were held in Brisbane in 2001, the year the bridge was opened.
F THE PEAR L
Brisbaneâ€™s worst maritime disaster occurred near here during river flooding of January 1896. The Victoria Bridge was damaged by floating debris and closed to traffic. Four small steam vessels, of which the Pearl was one, were chartered to carry people across the river. The strong current made crossing difficult, and while trying to avoid the steamship Normanby, the Pearl ran onto the anchor chain of the Government ship Lucinda. The Pearl was almost cut in two, and capsized and sank immediately. Thirty-four people were rescued from the vessel and twenty-eight are known to have perished.
QGS Lucinda, circa 1890, JOL 27
As you cross the Brisbane River you will note the South Bank Parklands which stretch out along the riverbank on your right. A popular destination for locals and tourists alike, South Bank occupies the site used for Expo 88. This 1988 international exposition was a defining moment in Brisbane’s history, and exerted a far-reaching influence on the development of leisure activities in the city.
Queensland fleet Paluma and Gayundah at South Brisbane, JOL
South Brisbane Dry Dock and Queensland Maritime Museum
As the Port of Brisbane grew in prosperity and shipping traffic increased, a need arose for local ship repair facilities. Built between 1876 and 1881, the South Brisbane Dry Dock is one of the oldest in Australia. The dock cost more than £83,000 to construct – a measure of the importance maritime commerce held for Brisbane’s prosperity. The dock was soon found to be too small and was extended in 1884. It was then able to service most vessels, forming an important part of the Port of Brisbane well into the twentieth century. The dock was used extensively during the Second World War, but in post-war years was unable to compete with the larger Cairncross Graving Dock further downstream. In 1973 maintenance problems forced the closure of the Dry Dock and it is now used by the Queensland Maritime Museum to permanently house the retired Royal Australian Navy Frigate Diamantina. Diamantina is open for viewing and the Museum has a range of other fascinating maritime exhibits. 28
To enter the Maritime Museum turn hard right at the end of the bridge. As you exit the Maritime Museum continue around the perimeter of the old Dry Dock towards the Captain Cook Bridge. Along the water’s edge are a number of large steel encased concrete pillars. These mark the site of the original…
Kangaroo Point Coal Wharves, circa 1900, JOL
27 Coal Wharves In the days of steam, coal was the fuel that powered industrial society. Extensive mines at Ipswich provided much of the coal for the Port of Brisbane. The coal was transported by rail directly to specialised handling facilities constructed here along the riverbanks. Five steam cranes loaded coal from railway hoppers on the wharves into barges or other vessels berthed there. The foundations of the steam cranes and a few timber posts and beams are all that remain of the old coal wharves. The coal trade began a slow decline after World War II. The railway siding was removed in 1960 and, after the closure of the Woolloongabba Branch railway in 1969, the abandoned wharves were demolished. From here you could continue walking along the Kangaroo Point Cliffs Boardwalk to the Thornton Street ferry terminal; or return past the Goodwill Bridge and proceed along the boardwalk to Southbank and the CityCat Terminal to travel to the city, further upriver or back to the starting point.
We trust you enjoyed this walk, and hope you will consider exploring Brisbane’s heritage further using other Brisbane Heritage Trails. Look for books on Brisbane’s history at Council libraries http://elibcat.library.brisbane.qld.gov.au 29
Brisbane City Council Information GPO Box 1434 Brisbane Qld 4001
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N2011-02780 ÂŠ Brisbane City Council 2011
For more information visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or call (07) 3403 8888