Monday, November 29, 2010

The Nouvelle, Teneriffe

In January 1990, the Mactaggart's woolstore on Skyring St at Newstead caught fire. The timber floors, soaked with lanolin from the countless bales of wool that had passed through the woolstore over the years, were extremely flammable, and the building quickly became an inferno with crumbling brick walls that made fighting the fire a nightmare for the valiant firemen who attended the blaze.
(Image reproduced from "Brisbane Ablaze", K Calthorpe & K Capell; photo K Darch)

The building was totally destroyed, and later a person was charged with arson and damage to property. The fire took a long time to burn out and the building smouldered for many hours afterwards. The following picture shows the fire crew still hosing down on the following day, and the devastation caused by the fire is evident in the photograph - click it to see a larger image.
(Image reproduced from "Brisbane Ablaze", K Calthorpe & K Capell; photo K Darch)

The suburb is now known as Teneriffe, and the area previously occupied by the woolstore is now home to an apartment complex called "The Nouvelle". It can be seen in the following image of the area from Google Earth. The old railway sheds across the road have now been removed and the land on which they stood has been "rehabilitated" to allow construction of the Gas Works complex that is already underway.
(Courtesy Google Earth)

And here is a photograph of The Nouvelle building. Teneriffe is a mixture of converted woolstores and purpose-built apartment blocks, and this one fits in quite well.(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

And this is the next building to the left in the second image (other side of Helen St to MacTaggarts), the old Queensland Primary Producers' Co-operative woolstore. It is an example of the refurbishment of woolstores into apartments - it is now called W4.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: W4

Friday, November 26, 2010

Exhaust pipes

(Photos: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

A recent email enquiry from a reader prompted me to publish this post. I had researched it earlier, but when I received an email from "nemo" asking me to identify some curious structures that are scattered about the city, I decided to go ahead and post it.

Here is a photograph of these objects. What are they - can you guess? I'll give you their locations, from left to right:
1. St Pauls Terrace, Spring Hill - opposite Gloucester St
2. Florence St, Teneriffe - corner of Macquarie St, next to woolstore
3. Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill - opposite Twine St, outside Albert Park

The structures are all made from Monier reinforced concrete and were among the first uses of this product in Queensland. They were built around 1904.

OK, I'll put you out of your misery. These are ventilation shafts for Brisbane's stormwater drainage system. In the late 1870s and early 1880s, the Brisbane Municipal Council commenced to provide stormwater drains in the city, Spring Hill and Fortitude Valley areas. Brisbane's hilly terrain and tropical thunderstorms often created havoc for those living in low-lying areas (still happens, in fact), and so open drains were constructed to channel the water away to the river and creeks of the town. The drains were then covered in the 1890s.

However, Brisbane was not then sewered, and citizens and businesses had a tendency to dispose of household waste and refuse down the stormwater drains. This soon led to the creeks becoming fouled and the stormwater drains themselves blocked and smelly. An outbreak of bubonic plague in Brisbane around the year 1900 added to the concerns of citizens. In those days, it was thought that diseases could be transmitted by these odours, and so the Municipal Council allocated a sum of money to construct ventilation shafts for the drains as a health measure.

It is not known how many were erected, but these three shafts are all that are left.

Click here for a Google Map to the Teneriffe shaft - you'll have to find the others yourself :-).


Next: La nouvelle

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fortitude Valley Wesleyan church

The increase in commercial activity that drew workers to the area, together with the arrival of immigrants into Fortitude Valley, precipitated the requirement for churches to be built. The Holy Trinity Anglican Church was built in 1877 and the Roman Catholic St Patrick's in 1882. Predating both of those structures was the one pictured below, which was the Fortitude Valley Wesleyan Methodist Church, constructed in 1871. There had been an earlier Wesleyan church in a different location, but the swelling population required a larger building.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

The new church could seat up to 400 worshippers, and was built facing Ann St to a design by Brisbane architect James Cowlishaw. The builder was Thomas Reading, and the cost was £1,000. However, by 1886 the Wesleyan congregation had expanded even more, and it was decided to build an even larger church on the same property. Architect George Simkin designed this building, and it was constructed by Blair Cunningham for about £5,000. This is a photograph of the third iteration of the Wesleyan church, taken in 1949. This church was built in front of the previous building and at right-angles to it, so that it faced Brookes St. The previous building was retained and used as a hall.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #184236)

This Fortitude Valley Wesleyan Church was the leading church of its denomination until the Albert St Wesleyan Church was completed in 1889. In 1898 the various brands of Methodism combined, and this church became known as the Fortitude Valley Methodist Church. In 1977 there was a further religious rationalisation with the formation of the Uniting Church, the combination of Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists. As a result of that union, this church was no longer needed, and the building was decommissioned in February 1977.

(Photos: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

Luckily, both the church buildings are still here. My recent photographs of the newer building are above. After a period where they were rented, the buildings were sold by the church in 1985 to the Royal Geographical Society who used the premises as their offices. That organisation has now moved, and a commercial interior design firm inhabits the newer building and a design company has an office in the original construction.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #189942)

The parsonage, called Epworth, is shown above in a 1935 photograph. It was built a little further up the road in Brookes St towards St Paul's Terrace in 1885. It too survives - here is a current photograph of that building, which is now the headquarters and chapel of KM Smith Funeral Directors.
(Photo: Courtesy

Click here for a Google Map to the church, and here for the parsonage.


Next: Strange vertical objects

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tattersall's Club

Here is a photograph of the centre of Brisbane, taken in 1958. How many of the old buildings and neon signs do you remember? When I finished high school a few years later than that, I started work in the city and it didn't look too much different. In this picture of Queen St, looking towards Albert St from Edward St, the Tattersall's Club building can be seen on the left edge. Note the open windows - must have been prior to the installation of air-conditioning.
(Photo: Courtesy BCC; #BCC-S35-9311236)

Here is a photo from a similar perspective, taken recently. Of course we now have the Queen St Mall, so the tram wiring and the traffic have been replaced with pedestrians and trees. Tattersall's Club remains, also at the left edge of this image. But every building further up Queen St has been rebuilt, save for the Regent Theatre, and that is also in mortal danger except for its entrance foyer.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)
Before we go any further, in the interests of disclosure: I am a member of Tattersall's Club. To some people, that fact apparently immediately makes me a chauvinist or even a misogynist. You see, Tattersall's does not have female members, although the club has voted on the issue in recent times. I support allowing women to join, and I suspect that at some future time it may yet happen; but in the meantime I am not about to throw the baby out with the bathwater and resign my membership. And that's all I'm going to say on the matter in this post.

Tattersall's Club was formed in Brisbane in 1883, and meetings were at first held in the Australian Hotel, on the corner of Queen St and Albert St.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #78041)

In July 1926, the club opened its own rooms in a building designed by Hall and Prentice, architects of Brisbane's City Hall.
This is the Edward St entrance of Tattersall's; the date of the photo is not known.
(Photo: DEWHA; # rt52011)

Despite the corner having been redeveloped, the Edward St exterior is unchanged.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

The club initially revolved mainly around horse racing interests, and the photograph below shows the first "settling day" in the new club premises on 2 August 1926.(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #59248) 1926

Settling day is when punters and bookmakers get together to settle bets from race day. These days members and their guests (both male and female) are more likely to be browsing the paintings on display for the annual Tattersall's Club Art Prize, as illustrated below by the photograph on the cover of the club's magazine.
(Photo: Courtesy Tattersall's Club; The Tattler - Summer 2010)

A feature of the club's design was the series of "horse" sculptures by Daphne Mayo that lined the original Queen St entrance. When the club was refurbished in 1990, the sculptures were moved to line the
the arcade leading into the club's entrance foyer from Queen St.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)
Click here for a Google Map.
Next: Recycled church

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wickham Terrace car park

It's all a bit non-PC to talk about inner-city car parks these days, of course. We don't want to attract cars into our cities, we want residents to use public transport and green transport such as walking and cycling.

But fifty years ago, when the post WWII economy saw motor cars start to become affordable for average families, local governments were very busy constructing roads and providing car parks. One of the earliest car parks within Brisbane's CBD was to be built on Wickham Terrace at Spring Hill, directly behind Central Railway Station. The two photographs below show where the building was to be erected - right where the huge clump of Moreton Bay fig trees stand.

(Photo: Courtesy Brisbane City Council; #BCC-B54-12285)

The picture above was taken in 1959, just before work started on the car park. Richard Gailey's Baptist Tabernacle can be seen in the background. Below, one of Capt Frank Hurley's photographs of Brisbane was taken from a high position on the other side of Edward St, showing a much different Brisbane skyline through to the Story Bridge.
(Photo: Capt Frank Hurley)

The Wickham Terrace car park was designed by architect James Birrell of the Brisbane City Council, and was constructed in off-form concrete by contractors Theiss Bros during 1959 and 1960. The photograph below shows a Theiss sign on the car park whilst it was under construction.
(Photo: Courtesy Brisbane City Council; #B54-16281)

The building was originally seven floors at the high Edward St end and eight at the lower Creek St end, and two more floors were added later. A feature at the Creek St end of the structure is the semi-circular ramp that allows cars to exit the building without having to drive past the cars parked on each floor. The architect's description of the car park can be read here.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

And, as my recent photograph above shows, the Moreton Bay figs that were probably heavily pruned during the construction period show no ill effects, and are as dense as ever.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Tattersall's

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brisbane Dental Hospital and Clinic, Turbot St

The picture below shows a building nearing completion in the city. The site is on the corner of Turbot St and Albert St, with this view being of the Turbot St entrance to the building, the Brisbane Dental Hospital. This photo was taken in 1940, and the hospital was opened in 1941 as a clinic and also a teaching facility associated with the University of Queensland.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #54384) 1940

This building was part of the Turbot St Development Scheme that was devised by Brisbane architect Raymond Nowland of the State Works Dept. His very laudable idea was to include a public library and an art gallery, together with this building, in a precinct adjoining Wickham Terrace, bounded by Turbot St and Jacob's Ladder. Regrettably, the Dental Hospital was the only building that eventuated. However, Nowland was kept busy in the very extensive public works that occurred in the late thirties and early forties. His other work included the Brisbane Clinic on Wickham Terrace and the Police Barracks on Petrie Terrace, as well as the Mayne Medical School featured in our last post.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

This attractive neo-Georgian building remains on Turbot St and is still a Dental Clinic and College. The attractive lines are evident in my recent photo above. Some interior refurbishing took place in the 1990s to ensure best practice in dental care. What a shame that other works proposed by Nowland for this area did not see the light of day.

Click here for a Google Map.


Car park

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mayne Medical School, Herston

Usually when I am out taking photographs for this blog, I prefer to see sunlight and blue sky. It's certainly more comfortable for the photographer, and usually gives better results too. But I can't control the weather, and sometimes I have to go out in the rain. This time, the overcast conditions and occasional shower were beneficial - look at the saturated colour in today's building, which is the Mayne Medical School at Herston. The school was named after benefactors James and Mary Emelia Mayne.

(Photos: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

The building was designed in Renaissance style by Raymond C Nowland, who was the chief architect in the state department of Public Works during a time when the government was introducing projects to keep the economy ticking over and unemployment at bay. The Doric columns above the front steps are a feature of the building, which was opened in August 1939 by the premier of the day, William Forgan Smith. The Medical School is shown below in a photograph taken in 1940. The statue of Hippocrates present in the foreground of the top photograph was unveiled in 1996.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #27228-0001-0005)

Nowland's work included the police barracks on Petrie Terrace, the dental clinic in Turbot St and numerous government buildings elsewhere in the state. Forgan Smith and his Labor government were keen on providing an excellent education system in Queensland, and Dr Raphael Cilento's work on tropical diseases was a motivating factor in the planning of the medical school. The Mayne Medical School has now provided more than seventy years of medical training to the state's doctors.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Dental clinic

Friday, November 12, 2010

O'Keeffe's building & Costin's cottages

For a city that doesn't have too many terrace houses, there is a surprisingly large number of them gathered in a small area along Petrie Terrace, overlooking the Roma St parklands. The ones below are known as O'Keeffe's terraces, named after John O'Keeffe, a Brisbane builder of the late 19th century. Firstly, the way they look now.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

This is the way they were photographed in 1977, following restoration.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #191803)

And before restoration - they were built in 1880.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #73812)

Another cluster of well-known terraces are these ones, known these days as Princess Row.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

They were previously referred to as Costin's cottages, as they were built by chemist/developer William John Costins around 1863. They were originally a row of four terraces. all with double dormer windows, but the terrace on the far left of my picture has been converted to a shop. Early development in this inner-city area, originally called Green Hills, was small workers' cottages to house the immigrants pouring into Queensland. Petrie Terrace has even more terraces houses, both old and new.

(Photos: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Car park

PS - I'll be in away on holidays next week, but if I've followed the geek-speak properly, posts should appear as if by magic. tff

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Prince Alfred Hotel, Paddington

Like Brisbane's other inner-city suburbs, the Paddington area had quite a few hotels in close proximity to each other. We saw the Normanby Hotel in a previous post, and today we are looking at another hotel with a long history. Situated on the corner of Petrie Terrace and Caxton St, the Hotel LA (as it is now known) probably started its existence as the Terrace hotel around 1864, but in 1868 it was renamed the Prince Alfred as a result of the visit of Queen Victoria's son Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, in that year. The Brisbane History Group's publication, Sites of Separation, reckons that at that time the hotel was a simple rectangular structure that probably looked like its neighbour, the Cricketers Arms Hotel, pictured below. The Cricketer's Arms stood on the nearby corner of Cricket St and Petrie Terrace, but no longer exists - the building on the site today is a Freemason's Hall.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #18821)

The Prince Alfred Hotel was rebuilt around 1887-8 for the Queensland icon, Castlemaine Brewery, the makers of XXXX beer, and this is the way it looked in 1929.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #1873)

This historical area of Brisbane became very unkempt and unloved for a period of years in the sixties and seventies. The old police barracks across the street and this hotel were very rundown indeed. The Prince Alfred lost its chimneys and verandahs, its cast iron balustrading and the awnings.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

In the late 1980s, the hotel was refurbished and renamed the Hotel LA (Lord Alfred), and the developers took care to restore it to its former appearance. It now appeals to the inner-city gentry and the football revellers who attend big matches at Suncorp Stadium just down the road. Its cellars and alleged underground tunnels to the former prison/police barracks opposite give it a certain street-cred in some quarters.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Terraces on the terrace

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ithaca Pool, Paddington

When my latest rates notice arrived (and after I recovered from the initial shock), I noticed in the accompanying bumpf from lord mayor Campbell Newman that the Ithaca Pool had reopened after a million dollar facelift. This was good news to me, because I had a blog post ready to go, just waiting for a current photograph. I had been to the pool to take a photo several months ago, but it was just a hole in the ground with workmen everywhere. It looks much nicer now - it has been enlarged to 25 metres, and the surrounding area improved with sun shades, vital for our Queensland climate. When I took the photo below, the pool was teeming with people swimming, sunbathing or just relaxing. It seems to be busy already, a very good sign for the coming summer.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

I had only ever been to this pool once prior to this year, and that was way back in 1967. The social club at the insurance office where I worked arranged a swimming carnival one summer evening after work, and it was a lot of fun too. I actually won a race, and for a person with the build of a rugby front-rower, that was quite an achievement. The fact that the length of the pool was only 23 metres (or 25 pre-metric yards) was a significant factor :-) The other thing I remember was that a bloke that I worked with (who shall remain nameless) demonstrated the art of staying underwater for a long time. This was achieved after hyperventilating for about five minutes, and then sinking below the surface. He blacked out and had to be rescued before he broke any Guinness World Record! The following photo was taken in 1943, and the pool didn't look too much different in 1967. (Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #157643)

Below is a photograph of the pool from around 1910, when it was known as the Ithaca Baths. It was just a free-form swimming hole dug out of the ground on the former site of the Paddington Cemetery. It looks like a cricket match is in progress too, at the rear of the photograph - that's probably where Suncorp Stadium stands today. A special act of parliament was passed to allow the land to be converted to recreation use.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #62800)

Later, the town of Ithaca proceeded with a plan to construct a children's playground, creche and kindergarten, free library and swimming pool around 1918, and the pool was upgraded as can be seen in the photograph below from around that time.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #67703)

Today, with addition of a skateboard facility and having Suncorp Stadium just across the road, this area is still very much a leisure precinct.

I would like to thank the lessees of the Ithaca Pool, Jacqueline and Tomas, for letting me take today's photograph.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Prince Alfred Hotel

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ithaca War Memorial, Paddington

The town of Ithaca, which featured its own town hall prior to the amalgamation of the local councils into the Greater Brisbane Council, raised a monument to its fallen WWI servicemen in 1922. It was erected in a park further along Enoggera Terrace from the town hall, right next to the fire station. Here is a photograph of the unveiling of the monument on 25th February 1922. I notice that the flag draped over the monument is the Union Jack.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #64173)

This war memorial was different from many others in that there was a four-sided clock mounted in the top of the monument, the only one in Brisbane. About 417,00 Australians embarked on overseas service for WWI, and 65% of them became casualties of some description. At the end of the war, many communities were moved to remember those who did not return from the "Great War", and Ithaca built this monument to commemorate the 130 of its sons who died. Their names are inscribed on the monument.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

The park in which the memorial stands was designed by the Ithaca Town Council gardener, Alexander Jolly, father of future Brisbane mayor William Jolly. Alexander Jolly died in 1925, and the park was named the Alexander Jolly Park in recognition of the work he had done beautifying the suburb. Here's how it looked in 1950. (Photo: Courtesy BCC; #BCC-B54-698)

The park is now known as the Ithaca Memorial Park. It remains in its original position next to the Ithaca Fire Station, in the suburb now called Paddington.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: At the pool

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Foresters' Hall, Bardon

Back in the days of the industrial revolution in England, employees had very little in the way of rights or benefits. The same was true here in Australia's early days too, and so groups of workers formed unions to be able to band together to aid each other in difficult times. Ordinary citizens also formed groups such as friendly societies for similar purposes, and we have looked at Oddfellows Lodges before. Today we are examining another similar organisation, the Foresters. The Ancient Order of Foresters had its beginnings in England in the mid-1700s, and the first "court" or lodge was founded in Australia in 1849. Court Foresters' Hope was formed at Paddington in 1878, and they built their meeting hall in Latrobe Terrace in 1888. The building was large enough to seat 300, and it was designed by architect AB Wilson and built by Walter Taylor. By the beginning of the twentieth century there were more than 50 Foresters' courts in Queensland. The earliest photograph of the Paddington hall that I could find was this one from 1997.
(Photo: DERM)

The hall continued to be used by the Foresters until the building was sold in 1976. The building was designed with shops at the front to provide revenue, and the hall itself was regularly rented for meetings. It was also used to hold Labor Party meetings and as a voting booth during elections. The next photo was taken in 2006, and shows the hall without a front awning.
(Photo: Courtesy bertknot and webshots)

The Foresters' Hall is now heritage listed, and it is an "op-shop", where recycled goods change hands at favourable prices. It is run by the charitable group, the Society of St Vincent de Paul. My recent photo below shows the hall with its" Vinnies" sign under the awning. Above the awning is a sign reading "Forester's Hall" (note the wandering apostrophe!) and at the top the date of construction, "Circa 1888".
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Four clocks
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