Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Terraces, Spring Hill

The work ethic and ambition of our early pioneers is a continuing source of inspiration to me. In 1855 the ship William Miles brought William Grigor and Mary Fenwick to Brisbane from their native Scotland. William went to work in the timber industry at Mooloolah and Mary as a governess for the Wickham family at Newstead House. William and Mary met on the ship - I don't know whether there had been a romance at sea, but the couple married in 1863.

During the next decade the Grigors must have been mighty busy. As well as his logging business, William set up a store near the mouth of the Mooloolah River in partnership with another Scot named James Low. Between 1864 and 1869, William and Mary Grigor had four children, all born at Mooloolah. William Grigor and James Low also bought land at Spring Hill in Brisbane and had a pair of semi-detached dwellings erected there around 1867. If the Grigors lived there at all, it would have been only for a short time - mostly the property was rented out. The photo below shows these buildings - the one on the left with the white verandah was Grigors' and it is listed on the Queensland Heritage register - this is their photograph from 2008.
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(Photo: DERM)

In 1868 William Grigor decided that he would take advantage of the new Cobb & Co stagecoach route between Brisbane and Gympie by building a facility where the horses, drivers and passengers could rest on that long journey. He selected land at Glass House Mountains and built Bankfoot House there. He and Mary resided there, and their family grew - they had nine children in all although three died at young ages. The original building was replaced some ten years later as business improved. The newer Bankfoot House is still standing at Glass House. It is thought to be the oldest house still standing in the area and here is a photograph of it. It is also on the heritage register and currently is owned by the Sunshine Coast Council which operates it as a museum. Here is a photograph.
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(Photo: © DERM 2009)

In addition to running the coach station, William Grigor acted as postmaster for the area, a duty that continued after the mail was transported by rail instead of coach. Grigor would ride to the railway station and pick up the mail, at the same time handing over outgoing mail from the area. He was listed as postmaster until his death in 1907. After he passed away his children and then his grandchildren lived at Bankfoot until it was purchased by Caloundra City Council in 2004.

As for the Spring Hill property, it remained in the Grigor family for 120 years. It was restored in the 1980s and here is a current picture.

(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Windermere, Ascot

In terms of Brisbane's stately homes, they don't come much more stately than this one. Built around the mid-1880s, the residents of the house over the ensuing decades would read like a Who's Who of Brisbane's well-to-do. Situated in the prestigious suburb of Ascot, the imposing residence is now largely hidden from the view of passers-by, thanks to the magnificent garden and mature trees surrounding the property. I couldn't really find a way to photograph it as it stands today, so this clip from Google Maps will have to do. 
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(Photo: google.com)

If you look closely above the ornate gate-posts you can just make out a corner pavilion that stands at the southern end of the residence. The next photo is from around 1979 and it provides a much better view of the layout of the house - the pavilion is offset by the bay at the opposite end of the structure.
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(Photo: © 1979 National Trust of Queensland; J Hogan & R Stringer)

The house was originally built for Ruth Appel, the wife of JG Appel (lawyer, pastoralist, politician) and daughter of pastoralist James Sutherland who owned the land. It is believed that Richard Gailey was the architect. John George Appel was a descendent of a Huguenot family that came to Australia and was the Home Secretary from 1909 to 1915. The photograph of Windermere below comes from the Appel family archives and shows a woman holding a small child on the left and the front of a motor car can be seen at the right. Upon his death, Appel was remembered as a big-hearted, simple gentleman who was honourable, generous and kindly to a fault.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #27279-0001-0001)

Other Queensland notables who have lived in this house include Dr Ellis Murphy who was Professor of Medicine at University of Queensland and knighted in 1962. His wife was the daughter of prominent businessman and Papal Knight TC Beirne. Subsequently the TJ Cottee family (beef cattle); Robert Bentley (accountant and long-term chairman of Racing Queensland) and the late Peter Maloney (Ariadne Corp) have resided here at various times.

Click here for a Google Map.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Moody's Cottages, Spring Hill

There is no doubt that standards of living in Brisbane have increased since these cottages were built for William Moody around the year 1870. Yet Mr Moody, who was employed as a "letter carrier" or postman at the GPO was able to purchase the land at Spring Hill and erect three cottages that were probably designed by Richard Gailey upon it. The cottages are constructed of brick rather than the more common timber, and consist of a terraced pair (below, top) and a detached residence (below, bottom).

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(Photos: © 2013 the foto fanatic)


William Moody was promoted to the position of mail sorter in the 1880s and his properties were retained by his three children through to 1950. Here are earlier photographs of the cottages. The top picture shows the cottage named Cooee on the right - the other attached residence is not named. The bottom photo is of Allandoon, the detached house.
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(Photos:  © DERM 2008)

In 1988 the house Cooee and its attached neighbour were converted into a residence and studio by the artist Rick Everingham. It is believed that all three buildings are currently private residences.

Click here for a Google Map.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Brisbane Central State School, Spring Hill

It's hard to make sense of governments some times, at least by reading the news. One minute there are higher enrolments at inner-city schools because of the trend of folk living closer to the CBD and the next minute inner-city schools will be closed so that the land can be resold to drop some gold into the government's coffers.

Here is a photo of the exterior of the Brisbane Central State School - it was established in 1875. This is the St Paul's Terrace entrance, and below that is a picture of the heritage listed school buildings.
(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

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(Photo: DERM)

The school was designed by well-known Brisbane architect RG Suter and was originally known as the Leichhardt Street State School. It consisted of three separate schools, Boys', Girls' and Infants'.

The Brisbane Normal School in Edward St closed in 1927 and the former role of that school in training teachers was taken over by the Leichhardt St School. It then became known as the Leichhardt St Practising School. It officially became known as Brisbane Central State School in 1954.

As Spring Hill developed more as a commercial rather than residential area, enrolment at the school fluctuated.  The number of pupils has dropped to a couple of hundred from a peak of over one thousand in the 1930s. Hence the talk about selling the site, I suppose.

Let's hope that the heritage listing of the buildings and the well-being of the students is sufficient to prevent this from happening.

Click here for a Google Map.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Samuel Drew's house, Sandgate

As the majority of Australia's residents live along the coastlines, it is no surprise to know that early white inhabitants of steamy Brisbane also sought out waterfront vantage points, either for recreation and leisure or in order to build cooler dwellings with ocean views.

Sandgate, north of Brisbane, was such an early discovery. From the 1850s there were moves to establish a port there, and the sub-division of land commenced shortly thereafter.

In the late 1880s an American carpenter and boat-builder named Samuel Drew and his family arrived in Sandgate and Drew found work at a joinery. From 1889 onwards, Samuel Drew built a large family house on Cabbage Tree Creek, and at the same time constructed a boatshed in order to build boats. The photograph below from around 1907 shows a view from the creek with the boatshed in the foreground and the residence behind it.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #157289)

This house was built in stages and being owner-built it has excellent structure, although the end result is that its style is somewhat unusual. The viewing tower atop the large central dormer stands out in more ways than one.
 
The following image is from around 1979 and provides a closer look at the intricate work on the balustrading and roof line. If you look closely, you will notice that the fretwork visible at the top of the tower in the earlier photo is missing here - that was the result of damage from a cyclone in 1952.  
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(Photo: © 1979 National Trust of Queensland; J Hogan; R Stringer)

Next we can see a colour photograph of the house, this from about 1983.
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(Photo: Courtesy Brisbane City Council; BCC-SGT-36)

Samuel's descendents kept the house after his death, and his grandsons converted the residence into two flats in the late fifties in order to draw some income from the property. It was reconverted into a single house in 1966, and sold by the Drew family in 1967.

It is believed that the house is still a private residence, and here is a recent photograph.
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(Photo: © Google.com)

Click here for a Google Map.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Bellmount, Spring Hill

This little gem at Spring Hill is almost unnoticeable, squeezed as it is between some larger buildings and shaded by a couple of pretty trees. Once a residence, the signage at the front indicates that it is now inhabited by a business and also that it is for sale. There are some interior photographs at the real estate site here. The building is a heritage listed workers' cottage built in 1880 and known then as Bellmount.
(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

When I worked for an insurance company in my youth, there were people employed there as messengers. The messengers had numerous duties such as walking documents to various CBD offices, moving mail between the eight floors of clerical workers in the company's Brisbane office, filing documents into the archives area, and so forth. I mention this as a precursor to saying that this cottage was built for a Martin McLeod who was a bank messenger.

The residence originally had four rooms and is set on stumps at the front and ground level at the rear of the sloping allotment. There is an attic behind the dormer window visible from the street, and it is thought that the attic would have originally been used for storage - it would have been far too hot for a bedroom under an unlined iron roof. Here is a further photo from about thirty years ago. 
(Photo: © 1982 National Trust of Queensland; R Sumner; F Bolt)

 It is a delight to still be able to see such a venerable cottage still in remarkable condition.

Click here for a Google Map.

tff 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cumbooquepa, South Brisbane

Each October over the past three years some of Brisbane's fascinating architecture has been opened to the public to view. Brisbane Open House has become so popular that the one-day format has been extended to a full weekend in October 2013. More than 33,000 visits were aggregated across 51 sites last year, so the expectation will be for even higher numbers this year. You can register to receive further information here.

One of the sponsors is the legal firm McCullough Robertson who funded the photographic competition for the event, and this is the photograph that won last year's first prize. 
(http://brisbaneopenhouse.com.au; A Yip)

The image depicts Cumbooquepa, a fabulous house that dates from 1890 and is now part of the campus of Somerville House, the prominent girls' school. Congratulations to photographer Andy Yip.

This is the second Cumbooquepa to be built here. The first was erected not long after Thomas Blacket Stephens acquired the land in 1856. The establishment of the railway line to South Brisbane meant that the original house had to be demolished, and a new Cumbooquepa designed by GHM Addison was built nearby.

TB Stephens passed away in 1877 and his son William Stephens took over the family businesses. It was he who oversaw the construction of the second Cumbooquepa in 1890. In fact William was an extremely busy man at this time - he was mayor of South Brisbane, he had taken over the family businesses and accepted the responsibility of looking after his mother and siblings; he also got married in that year and saw to the construction of Waldheim, another family house at Annerley around this time.

Here are a couple of older photographs of Cumbooquepa - the top one is from around 1920 and the one below it is from around 1979.  
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(Photo: wikipedia)

(Photo: © 1979 National Trust of Queensland; R Stringer)

Evidently the interior of the building is quite detailed. Don't miss visiting it on the next Brisbane Open House.

Click here for a Google Map.

tff

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tighnabruaich, Indooroopilly

I've long wanted to write about this property in the western suburb of Indooroopilly. It's name is Tighnabruaich - I'm told that means "house on the hill" in Gaelic. The reason that I haven't done so before has been the difficulty of photographing the house, but recently I came across a couple of images that will assist me in telling its story.

The history of the house starts with two brothers who came to Brisbane from their birthplace of Edinburgh in Scotland. They were born a year apart and were sons of actor/painter Montague Stanley. The older brother, Francis Drummond Greville Stanley had studied and practiced as an architect in Edinburgh prior to emigrating to Brisbane in late 1861 or early 1862 where he joined the Lands Department, becoming chief clerk of works to the Colonial Architect Charles Tiffin in 1863. His younger brother Henry Charles Stanley, an engineer, joined him in Brisbane around this time. Henry was an assistant engineer on the first railway line, became a railway engineer in 1866 and then Chief Engineer for Railways in 1872, by which time older brother Francis had been appointed Colonial Architect on the retirement of Charles Tiffin.

In 1875 the first railway bridge across the river between Indooroopilly and Chelmer was constructed, but it was destroyed in the mammoth 1893 floods. A new bridge was designed by engineer HC Stanley, and it opened in 1895.  The bridge that HC Stanley designed had only a central pier rather than the multiple piers of the earlier bridge, thereby reducing the risk of damage from floodwaters and debris.

HC Stanley had purchased a large block of land near the railway line at Indooroopilly around 1891 for the construction of his own residence. He had a suitable architect in the form of brother FDG Stanley who had marvellous buildings such as the National Bank, the Queensland Club and the GPO to his credit. He designed the decorative two-storey Tighnabruaich to take full advantage of its river views, with lots of steeply pitched gables containing multiple windows.
(Photo: © 1979 National Trust of Queensland; R Stringer)
 

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(Photo: DERM)

In 1891, Henry Charles Stanley mortgaged the property to a Solomon Wiseman, and following Wiseman's death in 1901 the Stanley family vacated the house and the property was used as a boarding school until sold to well-known Brisbane solicitor Herbert Hemming in 1904.

The Hemming family owned the house until Herbert's death in 1942; it then was administered by the trustees of his estate. For a good many years in the 1930s it was unoccupied, and rumours spread of it being haunted. During WWII the house was used by joint US-Australian intelligence and translation units and huts, interrogation rooms and cell blocks were constructed for their use. Many American servicemen resided in tents in the grounds of Tighnabruaich, and Japanese POWs were imprisoned and interrogated there.

The trustees of the Hemmings estate sold the property to the Commonwealth government in 1945, and it continued to be occupied by the army after the war ended. It was subsequently used as the residence of Queensland's top soldier, the General of Command, Northern Command. For almost fifty years it was the home of military brass until the grounds were subdivided in 1998 and the house and remaining land was sold to civilian owners. Here is a "before & after" photograph of Tighnabruaich.
(Photo via Lost Brisbane; facebook.com)



Click here for a Google Map.

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