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Old February 20th, 2014, 01:28 AM   #1
nathandavid88
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Brisbane History in Black & White

I've mentioned in the Brisbane History in Colour thread that there should be a Black and White thread too, so I've gone and made one because colour film only goes back so far.

To start the thread off, here are some great panoramas from the Australian National Maritime Museum's Flickr page. I think I may have posted these in some assorted historic thread sometime last year, which is another reason for creating this thread.

First off, City Hall with the Treasury, Land Administration Building, Family Services Building and Perry House among the buildings in the background (all of which are still extant

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City view near the Brisbane City Hall, 1927-1939 by Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons, on Flickr

This one shows Edward Street running down towards the Botanic Gardens. Not as many still extant building in this photo, but sharp eyes will spot Central Station, the GPO, St Stephen's Cathedral and Primac House on the far left.

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Brisbane City view near Ann Street, 1927-1939 by Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons, on Flickr

And now for a couple from the State Library of Queensland's Flickr page starting with this view across the CBD from top of the Story Bridge. The CML Building and City Hall's clock tower are standing tall, with a big ship moored at Circular Quay/Petrie Bight.


Looking across to the city from the top of the Story Bridge, Brisbane by State Library of Queensland, Australia, on Flickr

And from 1943 we have a view up a very smokey Queen Street, with a Lockheed P-38 Lightning flying overhead. Again, City Hall's clock tower and CML dominate the skyline.


View of Queen Street and the wharves on the Brisbane River Brisbane Queensland 1943 by State Library of Queensland, Australia, on Flickr
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Old February 21st, 2014, 04:01 AM   #2
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For my next post I'm concentrating on a camera shy convict era building, the Convict Barracks. It originally sat on Queen Street (Adelaide Street side), just south of Albert Street.

This is the closest to a front on photograph of the building, seen on the far right of the original Brisbane Town Hall (1870).



Its roof dominated Queen Street, as seen in this view taken from towards the Edward Street intersection (1864).



Built in 1827, the Convict Barracks has an interesting life after free settlement commenced in 1842. It went on to become Queensland's first Supreme Court, and Queensland's first Parliament, hosting the first sitting on 22 May 1860.

While close up photos are rare, it did have a cameo in some early Brisbane panoramas, be they illustrations...



...or photographic (1862).





(1874)



By the late 1870s, with newer, purpose-built Supreme Court and Parliament buildings having been built, questions began to arise over the future of the building, which to many still recalled the town's convict past, a past many people of the time would rather forget. That future was decided in 1880 when it was decided that the Convict Barracks would be demolished, and the land it sat on, prime property in the heart of Queen Street, would be sold off to spur further development of the area.

It didn't take long for development to occur, because that stretch of the street looked like this by 1886 (looking south from Albert Street):



Better photos of it from the turn of the 20th century:

(1900)



(Federation 1901)



(1908)



And by 1914, those few smaller shops had filled in thanks to Allan & Stark:

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Old March 3rd, 2014, 02:50 AM   #3
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For today's historic random photos, here are some of the incomplete Treasury Building. While some of us agonise at the time it takes a skyscraper to reach the skies today, the Treasury Building took a truly agonising 42 years to be completed, starting in 1886 and finishing in 1928.

It was built in 3 stages, with Stage One (1886–1889) running along William Street. It was this frontage that Queensland's Governor, Lord Lamington, announced the formation of the Commonwealth on January 1, 1901.

Looking along William Street from Queen Street.



Looking along William Street from Elizabeth Street.



And during Federation Day celebrations in 1901:







Stage Two (1890–1893) completed the Elizabeth Street frontage – the rear of the building – and ran two thirds the way along George Street.

Looking along George Street approximately from Burnett Lane.



Looking along Queen Street from George Street.



Looking along George Street from Elizabeth Street.



This left the Queensland Government Intelligence and Tourist Bureau building as the only thing stopping the completion of the Treasury.



So obviously it would simply have to go!



And in its place Stage Three was built...



Completing the complex, which has become on of Brisbane's most significant historic buildings. Luckily, the colour difference between the stone of the different sections is much less noticeable these days.



It was a long time coming! Here are the original floor plans.

Elizabeth Street level (Basement):



Queen Street Level (Ground):



Level 1:



Level 2:

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Old March 4th, 2014, 04:38 AM   #4
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3rd picture from the top - it almost appears those radio towers are on mt coot-tha, not the rooftops... I thought for a second they must be much older than they really are
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Old March 8th, 2014, 03:12 PM   #5
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Brisbane Views ... 1933 by srv007, on Flickr
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Old May 6th, 2014, 07:57 AM   #6
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"Brisbane Hospital" by Greg Williamson, on Flickr
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Old May 6th, 2014, 08:05 AM   #7
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Is that at the Mater, or is that actually the RBH?
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Old May 6th, 2014, 08:28 AM   #8
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Brisbane Hospital & Exhibition Grounds by Greg Williamson, on Flickr


Does this photo help to tell you if it is RBH?
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Old May 6th, 2014, 09:54 AM   #9
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The title of the second image gives it away. The RBH is across the road from the Exhibition Grounds.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 06:04 AM   #10
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For this post, I'm going to take a close look at a building that is a unique example of its type when compared to its interstate counterparts – Brisbane's General Post Office.



For anyone who has seen the GPO of Sydney or Melbourne, or even Adelaide or Perth, ours seems to be a little bit on the small side compared to those of all the other capitals. Ever wonder why is this the case? Well, let's start from the very beginning. In the early days of Brisbane, the General Post Office, while still on Queen Street, was a little way from the current one. It was actually next to the original Brisbane Town Hall.



Meanwhile, the Electric Telegraph Office, which also fell under the control of the Post Master General's (PMG) department, was located in a little building on William Street, next to the old Government Printing Office Building (Public Services Club).



With Brisbane being a fast growing city, these small premises just wouldn't do, so a new General Post and Telegraph Office complex was designed by Francis Drummond Greville (FDG) Stanley, and was to be built on the site of the Old Female Factory – the convict era women's gaol that later became Brisbane's main gaol post-free settlement. The Female Factory was demolished in 1870, and the General Post Office portion of the complex was built in 1871–1872 by John Petrie, local builder and son of Andrew Petrie, the first free settler in Brisbane. The new GPO opened on 28
September 1872. Here is what the building originally looked like.



The following stage, built between 1876-1879 saw the addition of an identical building to the right of the original, with a clock tower in the middle and a pedestrian lane separating the two, as seen in these plans. However, as we know, the intended clock tower was never added, leaving only the base being built. At the same time, the GPO, already out growing its new home, was extended to the rear, as can be seen in the plans.





As you can also see from the plans though, there is more to the GPO than what fronts Queen Street. There were also buildings fronting Elizabeth Street – effectively the rear of the site. Two buildings dominate the Elizabeth Street frontage. The oldest one being the Telegraph Stores Building, built between 1879 and 1889.



Next to it is the Parcel Post Building, a fine brick building built in 1908.







There is one more building that makes up this motley collection of buildings our GPO is comprised of, and that is the Operations Building, a brick building between the Telegraph Office and Telegraph Stores Building which was built in 1910. It can be seen on the right of this photo of the GPO's pedestrian laneway.



And, from the rear in this much later (1990) photograph. It also has a little square annex to the left of it (from this view) known just as "infill building".



Nowadays, the layout of the GPO looks something like this:



Now, I come to the question of why don't we have a big GPO like the other states. Well, a lot of people in Brisbane in the 19320s asked themselves this very question, and they started to lobby the Federal Government for the type of GPO they believed Brisbane needed. And the Federal Government did listen, drawing up plans for a new GPO like these which appeared in The Brisbane Courier in 1924:



However, while the Feds were happy to draw up plans, money was less forthcoming. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, there was a lot of talk about a new GPO for Brisbane, but nothing came of it. The GPO did see some internal remodelling of its existing buildings and a new Electric Telephone Exchange and Parcel Post Building added (both since demolished) but nothing major. Then, 1939 rolled around, and then we were at war...

During the war years we saw some remodelling of the lower level facade of the Telegraph Stores Building, which was finished after the war, but there was no money for a flash new GPO for Brisbane.






After the end of the war, discussion restarted again for a new GPO for Brisbane. This ran on until the 1950s when the Queen Street Buildings' stonework was cleaned in preparation for the first tour of Queen Elizabeth II. After this refurbishment was carried out, calls for a new GPO ended. This work was followed by a $700,000 refurbishment carried out in the 1970s. The 1980s saw the construction of Post Office Square, fulfilling a plan originally proposed 50 years earlier about an open stretch between the GPO and Central Station that included Anzac Square. Today, the GPO is one of Brisbane's most loved heritage buildings, with any thoughts of replacing it sure to be quickly shot down!

In 2012, we did see a remodelling of the Post Office front of house to become the first of a series of new Australia Post shopfronts. The decades, and numerous remodellings of the GPO front of house had not been kind to the building, with many historic elements long since removed. While the new concept store is very nice and modern, it's not a patch on how it looked in 1910.



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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:34 PM   #11
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great writeup nathan - appreciate the effort! Shame about the interiors - often my favourite aspect of heritage buildings
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Old May 8th, 2014, 02:06 AM   #12
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While the interior of the Post Office part of the building doesn't appear to have survived, the Telegraph Office interior largely has. CUA has installed a modern fitout around it that doesn't really fit all that well in my opinion, but it is completely reversible and doesn't obscure the original elements too badly.







And while I don't have images of this at hand, I do know that the little coffee shop next to CUA still has its heritage ceiling to match the side wing of CUA (seen at the top right corner of the last photo), so the two tenancies could be recombined in the future, while the Parcel Post Building does have its original timber posts and beams exposed, and also has an ornate ceiling in some parts too I believe.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 12:53 PM   #13
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Brisbane in the 1890s by Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons, on Flickr
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Old May 13th, 2014, 12:48 PM   #14
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Aeroplane accident on Kingsford Smith Drive, Brisbane by State Library of Queensland, Australia, on Flickr
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Old May 14th, 2014, 09:13 AM   #15
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1954 Brisbane Tram by raymcd2, on Flickr
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Old May 16th, 2014, 03:49 AM   #16
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Those trams are running along Wickham Street in Fortitude Valley, the building with "Hartnett" on it and those to the right of it are still there today. A similar view on Google Maps can be seen here.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 01:43 PM   #17
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Anzac Square, Adelaide Street, Brisbane prior to construction, c 1928 by Queensland State Archives, on Flickr
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Old May 19th, 2014, 11:24 AM   #18
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Adelaide Street, looking from the Old Lands Office on George Street, Brisbane, c 1860 by Queensland State Archives, on Flickr
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 08:55 AM   #19
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Crowd outside the Courier building on election night, 1907 by State Library of Queensland, Australia, on Flickr
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Old June 4th, 2014, 04:43 AM   #20
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The Courier Building was on the corner of Queen and Edward Streets, where the Commonwealth Bank Building (240 Queen Street) now stands.
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