Friday, February 20, 2009

CSR Refinery

One lump or two? A question that's probably not asked as frequently today as in days of yore. Actually, in those days of yore (when were they, exactly? I've never really known!) they probably wouldn't have asked about lumps anyway - at least not when asking how much sugar one wished to have in a cuppa. It would more likely have been spoons. Australians used to be fairly large consumers of tea, I suppose following the tradition brought here by the British colonists. The Brits are still large tea drinkers - I found an entry in Wikipedia ranking Great Britain at No 2 in the world with 2.3 kg of tea per person per annum and Australia a long way back at No 8 with a mere 0.8 kg. That was as at 2002, and I don't suppose things have changed all that much. By contrast, we apparently drink about 2.4 kg of coffee each per annum, but alarmingly, the majority of that is instant coffee.

The CSR Refinery building (pictured below, in 1902) was erected to supply the lumps (or spoons!) for all of those tea, and increasingly, coffee drinkers. Built in 1893, it became an important part of Queensland's development, and also contributed greatly to the industrialisation of the Bulimba reach of the river because of its requirement for port and rail facilities. An article on the refinery can be read here, at the Queensland Government's EPA site.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #142850)

The article concludes by saying that, towards the end of the twentieth century, the Brisbane City Council's Urban Renewal Taskforce became keen to relocate many of the inner-city industrial sites, and as a result, the refinery ceased operation. The site was redeveloped by Mirvac, and became the multi-award winning Cutters Landing apartments, as seen below.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

Although new apartment blocks have also been built, the original building has been retained; and I love the way the contours of the building have been preserved. Even the smaller, stand-alone building on the left has survived - it is now fitted out as a gym for the residents of this up-market complex. A heritage building with modern interiors and facilities, right on the river - what more could a Brisbane dweller require?

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Brisbane boy becomes bridge builder

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