We have encountered William Davies in these pages before - he built the fabulous Drysslwyn, now known as Raymont Lodge, at Auchenflower. Davies had made his fortune in mining, but was evidently a canny investor too. One of his earlier real estate ventures was to engage renowned architect Richard Gailey to design a series of attached shops to be built at Clarence Corner, now Woolloongabba. The resultant building was completed in 1890 and is comprised of six two-storey brick shops that were advertised for rent in July of that year. Here is what has been described as a photograph of the eastern part of the building from 1952 - there are similarities to its present appearance, but there must have been some alterations since this picture was taken. I'm actually wondering whether this was a building on the other side of Stanley St.
In 1920 the building was bought by Lebanese immigrant Calile Malouf, and I understand that the Malouf family, now one of Brisbane's major property players, still owns it. Calile Malouf and his sons operated a store in the building through to the late 1980s - I can recall going to their annual menswear sales to buy business shirts at unbelievably low prices. The shop was invariably full of items from floor to ceiling and I always wondered how they could find anything.
A more recent tenant was a golf store, and I was a regular customer there until around 2002 when I had to give up playing golf because of recurrent vertigo. There is still a golf store in the building today. Here is a current photograph.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)
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