Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Taylor-Heaslop Building, Woolloongabba

The Woolloongabba Fiveways has long been an easily recognised Brisbane landmark. It gets its name from the confluence of Main St, Stanley St, Logan Rd and Ipswich Rd, all major arterials that fan out like the spokes of a wheel. It was also a significant shopping precinct through to the 1960s, based on the easy access to it by bus, tram or train.

The area is significantly different now to when I remember it from when I lived at Annerley in the fifties. But today we are looking at something that has remained fairly constant over 120 years. It is the Taylor-Heaslop Building, erected in 1889-90 and photographed below in 1900.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #16343)

This three-storey structure was built as three attached shops for chemist Walter Taylor who wanted two shops as an investment, and businessmen James and Thomas Heaslop who were to use the third shop as a grocery store. The building was designed by JB Nicholson who also designed the nearby Princess Theatre and Norman Hotel. Because the building was wedged between Stanley St and Logan Rd the shops consequently had frontages to both. In 1893, title to the two Taylor-owned stores was transferred to James Heaslop who maintained them as an investment. The Heaslop brothers dissolved their partnership in 1901 with James Heaslop now owning all three shops and Thomas running the store.  In 1920 when the following picture was taken, the building housed Logan's Drapery (operated by George Logan) and the People's Cash Store (operated by Thomas Heaslop alone, but leased from his brother James).    
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #60030)

Following the death of James in 1922, his wife Mrs Clara Heaslop inherited the building and continued to hold the shops as an investment. Various traders operated from the different shops until the depression, when the building was unoccupied at times. In 1936 the tyre retailer Moreton Rubber Works leased one of the shops, and their signage has been visible since. Every time I went to a cricket match at the Gabba, just across Stanley St from this building, the signs were a visible checkpoint as I approached the ground. Here is a photo from 1955.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #161196)

Traffic issues forced the closure of the Logan Rd entry point at the Fiveways, and the top end of the street is now a cul-de-sac. It has been transformed into a lifestyle precinct, replete with cafes, restaurants and antique stores. The Taylor-Heaslop building remains, housing one of Brisbane's better restaurants on the ground floor. This is a current photograph.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.


1 comment:

  1. This is my favourite building in Brisbane! Thanks so much for the history.


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