Monday, October 26, 2009

Fortitude Valley Police Station

Let me start today's post by declaring that I have never been in this building. And I don't really want to either, because a visit to a "cop shop" is usually structured around bad news of some sort. Come to think of it, I believe the only police buildings that I have entered have been overseas - I have managed to lose luggage in quite a few places in the world, thus necessitating a visit to the local gendarmerie to file a report. The most spectacular was in Athens, when I spent a few hours on each of several successive days trying to explain how my luggage was stolen outside the airport terminal. They basically couldn't care less (not surprising, really - I'm sure that they had better things to do) but after a great deal of persistence on my part I finally ended up with a police report for my Australian travel insurer - written in Greek. Anyway, this post is set in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, not Greece, so I'd better move along before I am arrested for loitering :-) The Fortitude Valley Police Station was opened with a great deal of fanfare in 1936, when it was heralded as the "finest, most up-to-date, and most comfortable police station in Queensland." I'm guessing that they meant comfortable for the coppers, not for the crims! The photo below, with two Queensland policemen (I think they are real - if they are statues, someone has nicked 'em!) guarding the entrance, was taken shortly after the building's construction in 1936. Click the pic to see a larger image.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #111966)

As Brisbane grew, the Valley was one of the earliest places to be settled, being only a few kilometres from the centre of town. Many immigrants settled in the Valley and nearby, and the Valley became an important commercial centre too, so it was necessary for this growing population to be supported by a police presence. Police still operate from this building, and in fact, it has just undergone a major refit costing in the order of $16 million to ensure that it will keep doing so. This is the way it looks now.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

The police station is situated on the corner of Wickham and Brookes St, just down from the Valley Pool, and over the road from the Holy Trinity Anglican Church. It is a solid-looking, no-nonsense structure that was designed by Raymond Nowland of the Department of Works. I'm sure that it can house the long arm of the law for a while yet.

Click here for a Google Map.


Catholic TLC

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