An early trendsetter in recognising the potential of the river for upmarket accommodation was the remarkable Mrs Doris R Booth, who, in 1935, commenced construction of Cliffside Flats at Kangaroo Point. Before we look at the building, I think we should consider the woman. Her biography makes fascinating reading, but it's too long to reproduce here - this is the summary of her career(s) from that source:
- general merchant
- goldmine owner
- Member of Upper House
- nurse (general)
- women's activist
Doris Booth (nee Wilde) was born at Kangaroo Point in 1895 in a house named Cliffside. Following their marriage in 1919, she and her husband moved to New Guinea, where they managed a plantation and then mined for gold. Over time, the marriage deteriorated and Doris gradually assumed control of the family businesses. She left her husband in 1932, but was forced into court in New Guinea in 1933 when her husband sued for restitution of property. Following the conclusion of the matter in her favour, she purchased land adjacent to the family home at Kangaroo Point, and in 1935 requested architect/engineer R Martin Wilson to prepare plans for a multiple dwelling complex on that site. Tenders for the construction of the building were called in 1936, with a warning that contractors must visit the site to ascertain the degree of difficulty, including the use of an air-compressor for drilling the rock, as no explosives would be permitted. The successful tenderer in July 1936 was George Mitchell, and the building was completed in June 1937. At the opening of the building the Telegraph newspaper described it as being an example of the most advanced flat design in Australia. Here is the architect's drawing of the proposed dwelling.(Drawing of proposed flats, Kangaroo Point, 1936. Architect: RM Wilson. Wilson Collection, UQFL 112, 588. Fryer Library, University of Queensland Library. Used by permission.)
And here is my recent photograph of the building today.
(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)
Despite the present proliferation of apartment blocks in this area, not to mention the nearby presence of the Captain Cook Bridge and the freeway, this attractive building still holds its own. Doris Booth sold the apartments in the mid-sixties, a few years prior to her death. Anyone who lives there now would be extremely fortunate, I think. Here is a photograph that I found on Google Maps that was taken from the building and shows its fantastic views.
(Photo: Google Maps and summer.a; "View from Cliffside Apts")
Click here for a Google Map.