Friday, November 30, 2012

Mater Hospital, South Brisbane

The Roman Catholic order, the Sisters of Mercy, has had a leading role in developing Brisbane since their arrival here in 1861. They were amongst the earliest providers of education to Queensland children and were also instrumental in health care. The sisters opened the Mater Misericordiae Private Hospital in 1906, situated at North Quay. It was a former residence called Aubigny that had been converted to a 20-bed hospital. Aubigny was built for Sam Davis, a Jew who added a separate building in the grounds that was actually Brisbane's first synagogue. It was then sold to Patrick Perkins, the brewer, and during his time the former synagogue was used as a billiard room. When the hospital was based there, this outbuilding was used as a chapel. Here is a photograph of Aubigny in use as the Mater Misericordiae Private Hospital.
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(Photograph: www.mater.org.au)

It did not take long for expansion to be necessary. The sisters built a new 130-bed private hospital at South Brisbane - it was opened on 14 August 1910. Here is a picture of the hospital under construction. This part of it is situated on the corner of Stanley St and Annerley Rd, opposite the Clarence Corner Hotel.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #10189-0002-0069)

Five short months later, in February 1911, the Mater opened a public hospital - a two-storey, 40-bed hospital that was to treat 3000 patients in its first three years of operation.
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(Photo: www.mater.org.au)

Since then, the Mater has been at the forefront of health care and the training and education of medical professionals. In fact, the beautiful mrs tff trained there as a radiographer. The hospital now works hand-in-glove with Queensland Health and employs several thousand people. It would be impossible to for me to display all of the achievements of the hospital, but their web pages provide a list of milestones.

Here is a picture of the hospital that was taken in 1924.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #21569)

A growing population has determined that the hospital infrastructure should also grow. It is now a massive campus and will become even larger because a new $1.1 billion Children's Hospital is currently being erected there. Here is an aerial photo of the huge complex - it now has its own location, Mater Hill.
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(Photo: © www.cisco.com)

South Brisbane and Woolloongabba are experiencing another growth spurt. The development of Boggo Road Urban Village on the site of the old jail, together with the proposed cross-river rail project and possible residential redevelopment of the state government's GoPrint site near the freeway will ensure the area is rejuvenated.

Click here for a Google Map.

tff 

THAT'S OUR FINAL POST FOR 2012
  I WISH ALL READERS A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON
AND A WONDERFUL 2013
tff



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.

tff

Friday, November 23, 2012

Phoenix Building, Woolloongabba

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.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #13281)

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)

 Click here for a Google Map.

tff

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pollock's Shop House, Woolloongabba

This building is a couple of doors down Stanley St from the Clarence Corner Hotel that featured in a recent post here. It is known as Pollock's Shop House, and it was built in the mid-1860s from bricks that were probably made locally. The brick core remains, supplemented by timber extensions on either side.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

Alexander Pollock was a butcher who operated from a shop in this building for a few years after its construction. He lived on the premises, and cannot have been there for too long when a fire occurred in Harvey's Store, the next-door building, on 23 March 1865. At the inquest into the fire, Pollock testified that he was awoken by a "peculiar noise" and that when he investigated he found the next-door property on fire. It appears that the fire was contained to that building although they were only about 10 feet (3 metres) apart.

Apparently business didn't go all that well for Pollock. In a civil court case in November 1866 he was sued for £433 as restitution for a cattle deal that had gone sour. Pollock lost the case and was bankrupted in 1866/67. He lost this building to the mortgagee in 1868. By this time Alexander Pollock was searching for gold at Gympie and it is reported that he had some success at that endeavour. Pollock St in Gympie is the site of his claim for the "Lady Mary" reef that he registered in late 1867.

Since Pollock's time there have been numerous businesses and tenants of this building. I hope the businesses there today have more success than Alexander Pollock did.

Click here for a Google Map.

tff  


Friday, November 16, 2012

Hillyard's Shop House, Woolloongabba

On 29 December 1881, 78-year old Irish immigrant George Hillyard died at his residence at Stanley St, South Brisbane. The death notice in The Queenslander shortly afterwards indicated that he had passed away after a long and painful illness. This is the house where George and his family had lived for close on twenty years - it is situated next to the property we saw in the last post, Shop Row.  
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

The residence was upstairs, and downstairs George ran a watchmaker's business with a shopfront to Stanley St. The building was completed around 1865, and after George's business opened the building was topped with a clock to advertise his wares. Unfortunately the clock is no longer present. George and his family may not have been in Australia for all that long at this time - I found a reference to a George Hillyard, watchmaker, resident of Dublin in 1862.

Following George's death, his son continued the business until 1885 when the property was sold. A succession of businesses have subsequently operated here as the suburb has waxed and waned over decades. Fortunately it is still with us, and with heritage listing, it should survive for much longer.

Click here for a Google Map.

tff


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shop Row, Woolloongabba

Following the last post, we are staying in Woolloongabba and looking at some of the nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings that remain in the area.

This one stands in Stanley St next to the Clarence Corner Hotel. It is thought that the building was constructed around 1903 for the then owners of the hotel, John Brett Charlton, a successful Brisbane stockbroker, and his wife Winnifred Mary.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

Known as Shop Row, the group of five attached shops was erected a little later than its neighbours, which are of 1860s vintage. Apparently there were earlier small businesses operating here, but this was the first building constructed after the land subdivision that allowed such structures.

As with other buildings in this location, Shop Row's fortunes have fluctuated since its construction. The area was quite a busy precinct through to the 1960s, after which many of the buildings fell into disrepair, but recent activity has brought back a little life.

Click here for a Google Map.

tff

Friday, November 9, 2012

Clarence Corner, Woolloongabba

Until the advent of the railway line to Ipswich the way you got there was by coach (for passengers) or wagon (for goods). The wagons were usually pulled by bullocks, making for a very slow trip.

A place for the bullocky to stop to wet his whistle just outside the boundary of Brisbane was at One Mile Swamp, a declared water reserve that we now know as Woolloongabba. It must have been a fairly wet area, because the shortcut that the bullock drivers took to the Ipswich road became known as Boggo Rd (now Annerley Rd). In 1863 a hotel called the Clarence opened there. Where roads go, people are sure to follow and housing allotments began to be sectioned off in the area. The increase in local population required the Clarence Hotel to be replaced by a new building in 1889. It was called the Clarence Corner Hotel, and this is a photograph of the area taken around 1906. The building on the right edge of the photograph is the Clarence Corner Hotel.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #4048)

Woolloongabba and South Brisbane became quite commercial areas. Leading up to the massive 1893 floods, there were many businesses on Stanley St, which at one stage  had no fewer than 17 hotels dotted along its length! Further east along Stanley St the Brisbane Cricket Ground held its first match in 1896, and since then has grown to be known simply as "The Gabba" and is recognised as one of the major world cricket venues. Just across Annerley Rd from the Clarence Corner Hotel, the Mater Hospital was completed in 1910 on land that had been purchased by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893. Patients were transferred from the previous venue, a house at North Quay. Here is a more recent picture of the Clarence Corner Hotel.
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(Photo: Courtesy Brisbane City Council; P4280045)

Regrettably, South Brisbane and Woolloongabba are no longer the commercial centres they once were. In the case of South Brisbane, the 1893 flood caused so much damage that many businesses either closed down or moved across the river to Brisbane Town. As far as Woolloongabba goes, it was still a vital transport hub through to the 1960s, when the arrival of the suburban shopping centres heralded the doom of major precincts such as Fortitude Valley and Woolloongabba. Then the construction of the South-East freeway severed the Wooloongabba strip into two parts and the area is now a ghost of its previous incarnation. But the construction of medium density apartments has recently added some life to the area. A large shopping and residential complex has been built opposite the Gabba, and the Clarence Corner Hotel has also just had a makeover. It is now known as the Brisbane Brewhouse - here is a current photograph.
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(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

And here is a link to a newspaper article that outlines the changes in store for this landmark hotel.

Click here for a Google Map.

tff

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Queen St nostalgia

Here are some photos taken down the years of the area that is now the Queen St Mall.

Photo 1: old town hall - now where the Chifley Hotel at Lennons stands; 1885
Photo 2: top of Queen St - town hall lower right and Victoria Bridge at top
Photo 3: looking towards Edward St from Albert St 
Photo 4: looking towards Albert St from Edward St at night; 1957
Photo 5: looking towards Albert St from Edward S; 1960s

Enjoy!


(Photo: Courtesy BCC; BCC-B120-25426)


(Photo: Courtesy BCC; BCC-B120-31070)


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Click here for a Google Map.

tff

Friday, November 2, 2012

Chinatown Mall

Like many other cities, Brisbane has a Chinatown. Our Chinatown precinct is in Fortitude Valley, and is surrounded by  a myriad of restaurants, with oriental produce, jewellery and health stores to add to the mix. Chinatown Mall was officially opened by then lord mayor, Sallyanne Atkinson on 29 January 1987 - just in time for Chinese New Year celebrations for the year of the Rabbit. Kung hei fat choy! Here is a picture of the hordes of people who turned up on opening day.
(Photo: Courtesy Brisbane City Council; BCC-B35-18.15A) 29/01/1987

The mall has had a varied existence since then. It was very popular for a time, and then business waned. Many Chinese immigrants have chosen to live in the southern suburbs of Sunnybank and Robertson, so the trek to Fortitude Valley is a rather long one. Those suburbs now have their own Asian flavour and attract large numbers of people.

The Fortitude Valley Chinatown had a makeover in early 2010. Some $8 million was spent to reinvigorate it, but the renovations themselves were not popular with the local traders because the noise and dust kept patrons away from the area. Delays in completion added further frustrations.

Once finished though, the area took on a more authentic look, thanks to input from Chinese architects. Here are a few photos.




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(Photos: Courtesy Brisbane City Council)

The lions at the entrance to the mall (top picture and close-up in last picture) are reported to weigh 320kg and sit there to prevent evil spirits from entering the area. They were a gift from the People's Republic of China.

Click here for a Google Map

tff
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