Friday, October 12, 2012

Julius St, New Farm

This little cul-de-sac in New Farm has an interesting history. Scottish immigrant James Campbell, who founded quite a large building company after his arrival in Brisbane, bought land here and around 1880 he constructed a couple of lime kilns and a little wharf at the river end of the street. Later he established a timber business on the property too. It appears that the terrible 1893 flood put paid to these enterprises although other Campbell businesses survived and prospered. There are remnants of the lime kilns still visible from the river and they are under heritage protection. I have glimpsed them from the CityCat but have not had the opportunity to photograph them. Here is an image from the DERM website.
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 (Photo: © DERM)

The area lay unattended for about twenty years after the Campbell joinery works and lime kilns were destroyed. In 1914 another timber merchant, James Green commenced operations here, and then in 1921 a Julius Rosenfeld set up his timber yard here. He bought the land in 1924, but he also had bad luck - fire destroyed his business in 1931.

In 1933, Rosenfeld had the land subdivided into housing allotments, and I presume that Julius St was named in his honour. The little street became a place where blocks of flats were constructed during the inter-war period. There are no fewer than seven multiple dwellings, each having its own design and character, in the street. They are Ardrossan, Green Gables, Julius Lodge, Syncarpia, Ainslie, Pine Lodge and Evelyn Court. The New Farm area at this time was largely inhabited by the well-off, and these flats were designed to be leased to wealthy tenants.

Below is a photograph of Ardrossan, sporting a for sale sign. The photograph was taken some months ago, and a recent check found that it is no longer on the market. I cannot say whether or not it was sold.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

It is welcome news that this street has been recognised as having heritage value. Although dating only from the 1930s the area is significant in its representation of early medium density living in Brisbane.

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. I was looking at the introduction of medium density living into Melbourne this week, and am not sure it was done thoughtfully or sensitively. But Brisbane even more so. What did a relatively small city like Brisbane think of medium density living in the 1930s? At least Ardrossan was sympathetically designed.

  2. Hels: I don't think there was much thought about it here either. It was all very new to Brisbane at that time, and it seems to me that it was more about opportunities for investors rather than those for the general public.


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