Friday, February 6, 2009

Bulimba School of Arts

Do we really think before we demolish older buildings? Is there a valid reason to knock down an older structure just to replace it with something newer? I suppose the answers to those questions depend on your viewpoint. If a building is unsafe and cannot be satisfactorily or economically repaired, then I guess there is no option. Sometimes, though, I wonder whether redevelopment happens for other reasons.

For instance, take a look at the image below, the Bulimba School of Arts. It used to be situated at the top of Riding Rd, across the road from the Uniting Church, and just below Bulimba State School. Should you wish to read a nostalgic and at times hilarious account of going to this school, please take time to look at Dennis Burchill's account here, on (you will be tested later!). I have to say upfront that I have no knowledge of why or even when the School of Arts was demolished, I am merely wondering why it no longer exists.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #145451)

I remember this building, naturally known as the School o'farts (by some boys - not moi!) when I was younger. It was a building with history and character, and perhaps its use dropped off during its latter years, but I, for one, would like to have it still standing. It also acted as a library, and I hope that it was a clearly considered decision to replace it, and not some political whim, because this is what it has been replaced with - the new Bulimba Library.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

In the foreground of both images can be seen the monument to WWI soldiers that Dennis Burchill so wonderfully describes in his memoir (I warned you that you'd be tested!), but the gabled School of Arts has now been levelled, and on the block now stands one of the ugliest, most boring, brick buildings I have ever seen. I have nothing against libraries - I use my local library extensively, and a library is an essential addition to a community - but surely it could look more inviting than this brick box. Thus endeth the rant.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Queen & Edward


  1. hey FF
    You have been very busy! Iam really loving all the old spots, which bring back memories for me too. If you are looking for more inspiration, I would love to see some old photos of the William Jolly Bridge. William Jolly was the first Lord Mayor of Brisbane and happens to be my great grandfather. Keep those photos coming!

  2. hey malonie
    yep - I'll certainly be doing something on the William Jolly - in fact I was just reading up on it recently. Might be a little while yet, but keep your eyes peeled.

  3. I much prefer the old building too,although it looks like an old haunted mansion. Has much more character than the new concrete bunker that replaced it.

  4. Did it? I didn't know that, and haven't been able to find any reference to it. Do you know when it happened?

    In any case, in my view it doesn't excuse the poor design and presentation of the new library.

  5. Ironically the monument to the German missionaries is on the land of the English pioneer of the district, George Bridges. If you are interested, I have posted something about him here:


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