Friday, January 16, 2009

Winchcombe Carson Wool Store

Our daily paper here in Brisbane is The Courier-Mail. People in the finance world have often called it "The Curious Snail", firstly because it is a clever play on words, and secondly because for many years it seemed to live up to the nickname in matters financial - very concerned about unfolding events, but rather slow in getting the information out to the reader. That was probably true of a lot of matters pertaining to Brisbane back in the day. Often looked on as a "big country town" or a "branch office city"; even snootily referred to as "Brisvegas" by those from the deep south who thought we all wore white shoes. I did! Played cricket in 'em! :-)

But things have changed. The Courier-Mail has been punted straight into the 21st century with its own web presence, and is right up to the minute with the latest news. Rather too much celeb gossip for my taste, but hey! The news, sport and finance pages are fine.

Anyway, The Courier has been around since Adam wore short pants (alright - before Federation, at least; it was initially "The Moreton Bay Courier" and then "The Brisbane Courier", and dates back to 1846), so that makes it older than this grand old lady, the Winchcombe Carson Wool Store. Here she is in her hey-day as depicted in The Brisbane Courier in 1913.(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #53112)
With her name and purpose emblazoned across the front, as well as the date of completion, 1911, she must have been an attractive addition to the area. Not to mention big - she takes up a whole block. It would have been some feat to be moving bales of wool around inside in a humid Brisbane January, I would wager. You can see where she was situated in my previous post - bottom right of picture, on the other corner from the cannery I identified in that post.

And this building has stood the test of time, arguably adapting better than the primary industry on which it was first dependent. Now it is filled with New York-style l
oft apartments, definitely a change from its blue-collar beginnings. Take a look.(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)
Still glorious after all these years. In addition to almost 100 up-market apartments, it boasts some commercial tenants (including a coffee shop, naturally!) on the ground floor. Situated at 54 Vernon Terrace, right in the trendy zone of Teneriffe and surrounded by more coffee shops, restaurants, bars and even a gym, the Winchcombe Carson Wool Store has been completely transformed into the very model of modern living.

This photo was meant to look as much like the original as possible. Here are the excuses reasons that it doesn't look exactly the same:

  • I had to stand on the white line in the middle of Vernon Terrace to replicate the original viewpoint. Boy, those Council buses move fast, don't they!
  • To include the entire height of the building, I had to tilt the camera upwards. This causes the building to look like it is falling over backwards. It isn't - I don't think so, anyway.
  • I corrected the falling over backwards thing in Photoshop with the tool that I use to make myself look thinner.
Click here for a Google Map.

John Lennon?

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