Friday, October 30, 2009

Supreme Court

As Brisbane came into being as a result of the way courts dealt with convicted criminals in the nineteenth century, it should be no surprise to find that courts were significant buildings in the town. One of the finest buildings we had in the city was the Supreme Court building in George St, designed by the Colonial Architect, FDG Stanley, and built by the Petrie Construction Company in the 1870s. This grand building graced George St for almost one hundred years until it was torched by an arsonist and destroyed in 1968. The picture below shows the wonderful building around the year 1889.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #80784)

The current Supreme Court building was erected in the 1970s to replace the original. To my mind, it is a rather bland and nondescript construction. I hope that it is functional! My photographs (below) are of the messy entrance to the Law Courts in George St, and the statue of the Greek goddess of justice, Themis, which stands in front of the court building.

(Photos: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

And we must still be a fairly lawless lot here in Brisbane, because lack of room is forcing the construction of a new courts complex further west along George St. An artist's impression of the proposed new building can be seen here, on the web-site of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Crossing the creek


  1. Hurray! Another glass box.
    Do you think one day they'll look back with admiration as this boring blocky stuff? It really lacks imagination.

  2. What an amazing building - what style(s) did the architect suggest it was? How far was it built from Brisbane's Old Government House?

    Thanks for the link

  3. I'm with you, Cara - the modern building is unimaginative, and I don't know that future generations will thank us.

    I don't know what style the older building was categorised as, Hels. It was situated only one km up George St from Old Government House.


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