Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wairuna, Highgate Hill

One of Brisbane's earliest department stores was Allan & Stark, situated in Queen St just down from George St. It was founded by James Allan and Robert Stark, and it made them both quite wealthy. Allan & Stark was taken over by Myer in 1950. Robert Stark lived at Richmond Rd, Morningside, while James Allen lived at Highgate Hill in this house, Wairuna. It was designed for him by famous Brisbane architect RS Dods, and the photograph below is from 1945.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #56617)

The State Library of Queensland is about to launch an exhibition on Robin Dods. Called "Art in Architecture", it will highlight Dods' work in the early twentieth century which did so much for Queensland architecture. The Brisbane Times has previewed the exhibition in an article entitled "The man who built Brisbane" (click here), and many of the photos in that article originated from this blog. I know - shameless self-promotion!
(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)

Allan's residence took three or four years to build, and was completed in 1900. He lived there until his death in 1938, when Wairuna was acquired by the Presbyterian church. It is now privately owned again. The state government's heritage pages describe the house as a:
"finely designed building following the Arts and Crafts tradition with a high pitched complex roof, multi gabled and bayed projections and an overall picturesque quality, achieved whilst obtaining a comfortable and livable Queensland house."

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. great house, but I never quite know how to describe this sort of domestic architecture. It is Federation, Queen Anne, Edwardian with Australian verandas, an un-Australian high pitched multi gabled roof and bayed projections. I bet the neighbours thought it was HUGE in 1900.

  2. http://ephemeral-male.blogspot.com/2010/10/another-four-postcards-with-marks-notes.html

    nice shot of Allen and Starks building . . .


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...