Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Union St, Spring Hill

Spring Hill is an inner-city suburb - probably the most "inner-city" of all. Its post code is 4000, the same postcode as the GPO, and it is a short (but admittedly uphill) walk from the CBD. It is a very eclectic suburb - it contains old convict-built buildings, workers' cottages, apartments, free-standing houses, shops, private schools and office blocks; as well as a couple of hospitals. Spring Hill got its name from the spring that originated up the hill from the settlement of Brisbane. The spring must have become a creek, because that's how Creek St was named. The cross street at the bottom of today's pictures is Water St, so clearly there was a fair bit of H2O around! Today's historical photo of Spring Hill gives an idea of how densely populated the suburb has always been. You can see workers' cottages and more substantial houses, as well as St Paul's Presbyterian Church up on St Paul's Terrace.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #145401)

The information with this photo at the John Oxley Library dates it at around 1862, but according to the history of St Paul's church as recounted on its web site, the foundation stone of the church was not laid until 1887, and the church was dedicated in 1889. Prior to the construction of this church, the congregation worshipped in a wooden building in Creek St. Perhaps the old photo comes from around 1892 rather than 1862.(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

I chose just after sunrise one morning to recreate the old shot (above) - click on it to see a larger version. The sun is still low behind the Marriott Hotel, now visible behind St Paul's church. The taller buildings of the current CBD are readily seen on the skyline, and in a strange dichotomy, we now see a plethora of power lines that are counter-balanced by an abundance of arboreal carbon-munchers. Wickham Terrace in Spring Hill is now the Brisbane version of London's Harley St or Sydney's Macquarie St, as there is a great number of medical specialists, dentists and other health services situated there. Spring Hill is still a very desirable place to live because of its proximity to town.

here for a Google Map.


Next: Taking on City Hall


  1. Love your blog and your photographs from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. One thing you might wish to do is add the library image or negative number to each image in the acknowledgement statement as this makes it easy for people to find and/or order the image form the State Library. This has helped me greatly when looking for images from State Library.

  2. 1862 .... a terrible war raging in the USA. The Union v The Confederates, was this the reason behind Union St ?

    1. Wow. That's possible isn't it. Thank you for making more connections.


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