Friday, August 26, 2011

Fire station, Fortitude Valley (former)

Fortitude Valley's first fire station was located at Ballow St. One of Brisbane's biggest fires occurred a couple of blocks away at the Overells department store in February 1904, and unfortunately a person died in the blaze. The proprietor of the store, Mr Overell, was critical of the response time of the brigade; however an inquest into the death, after considering telephone records and log books, found that there was no unnecessary delay. During this time planning was already underway for a new and larger station to be built on the corner of Chester and Harcourt Sts. The land had been purchased for £400 in the previous year, and the new premises were opened in January 1905. This is what it looked like.(Photo: "Brisbane Ablaze"; K Calthorpe & KD Capell)

When it was no longer required as a fire station, it went into private enterprise, firstly as a milk depot around 1929, and subsequently as a fruit market. Milkman Harry Broadrick and his horse Psycho, who pulled the milk wagon around the streets, were local identities in the Teneriffe and Newstead area. In the 1990s, the building was converted into flats, pictured here in 1998.
(Photo: "Brisbane Ablaze"; K Calthorpe & KD Capell)

(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)

The building is still with us, which is quite remarkable when one considers the rebuilding that has occurred in this area. After a recent makeover, it looks quite inviting too.

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. What a very trendy fire station for 1905! Was there any other fire station built in this sort of architectural style, on which Fortitude Valley might have been based?

  2. wow, they completely butchered it. How 90's

  3. Hels: Not at this time. Later on, in the 20s, the Public Works Dept built a few more brick ones and many more timber ones.

    Chuckehh: Yes, its a pity that the original architecture wasn't retained, but at least the building has survived.


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