Monday, January 27, 2014

Greystaines, Hamilton

Here is another riverside heritage property in well-heeled Hamilton. This time it is a building that was purpose-built as a block of six flats, although it has now been converted into a single residence.

The building is named Greystaines, and here is a current photograph.
(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic) 

Greystaines was built in 1934 for a Mr & Mrs Sydney Dove, and it was a Mediterranean design by architect George Rae. Amongst Rae's other commissions were the refurbishment of the Cremorne Theatre at South Brisbane at the time it was being reconfigured for "the talkies", and later the redesign of the Astor Theatre (now known as the Village Twin - more on that in a later post) at New Farm.

The relatively upmarket area of Hamilton attracted investors between the wars, and in a similar fashion to New Farm, Hamilton became a suburb that attracted people from the higher socio-economic strata of Brisbane's population. A couple of announcements from the latter half of the 1930s that appeared in The Courier-Mail indicate the type of tenant that inhabited Greystaines.

(Photo: trove.com)

Below is an earlier photograph of the building in a different colour scheme - I think it looks better now.
(Photo: Queensland Government)

Click here for a Google Map.

tff

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Australia Day Floods - 40 years ago

Some events leave a lasting memory, and the 1974 Australia Day floods in Brisbane and Ipswich was one that had that effect on me. It wasn't that I personally had any major problems - it was just the sheer size of the disaster and the protracted aftermath that were so memorable.

Here are some of the media recollections of the 1974 Floods:


http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/special-features/brisbane-1974-floods-remembered/story-fnkn776z-1226801385846


 http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/the-courage-and-heartbreak-of-1974-floods-remembered-20140124-31em5.html


http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/environment/weather/historic-photos-of-brisbanes-1974-floods-20101012-16ggu.html

http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/documents/libraries/obmb3_my_recollections_of_the_1974_australia_day_flood_cordingley.pdf

tff

Monday, January 20, 2014

Queen & Edward (4)

What was I (along with hundreds thousands of others) doing outside Brisbane's newest Apple store at 10:00 am last Friday, waiting for its official opening. It wasn't to pick up the latest iGadget - my wife reckons I have enough of them already.

I am notorious for avoiding crowds. I hate the bustling, bumping, heaving mass of people that one can find in shops and malls, particularly at this time of the year. And I am impatient (mrs tff says it differently - intolerant is her pronunciation) when it comes to queuing for anything.

So, why was I there?

It was nostalgia that drew me to the centre of the city. It was to observe the transition of the historic MacArthur Chambers into its newest incarnation as Apple's first CBD store in Brisbane. Regular readers may recall that my first ever, grown-up, full time job was in that building getting on for fifty years ago now. I loved the job, I loved the company that I worked for and the people that I worked with, many of whom remain friends to this day. I am not alone here - a reunion of people who worked there was organised recently and 300 people attended! Some of them had commenced work in that building in the 1950s. I still love the building, now a heritage listed treasure right next to the Brisbane Mall. Here are a couple of photographs of it from 1950 when it was known as the AMP Building.
(Photo: BCC-B54-677)


(Photo: BCC-B54-775)

Here is Friday's photo that shows what I was up against, taken just before the 10:00 am opening hour.
(Photo: © 2014 the foto fanatic) 

That queue extended back to the GPO, including snaking in and out of the MacArthur Arcade next door where the Commonwealth Bank used to be years ago. There were police and security there to ensure that shoppers and business people were able to walk past unimpeded. There were photographers, journalists and TV crews there to record the Apple iMadness. It seemed that the people towards the back were not going to make it in the front door before closing time, so long was the queue.

That realisation brought me to my senses. There was no way that I was prepared to stand in that queue for hours just to see inside - I'll come back when things are more reasonable. Here is a media photo of the interior, showing the refurbished ground floor.
 (Photo: brisbanetimes.com.au)

This is where the nostalgia really kicks in. I spent years working on the ground floor of the building doing customer service and clerical roles for AMP. I was hoping to walk around and soak in the atmosphere to see what memories were stirred. That will have to wait for a later time.

tff 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Abbotsford Rd Bridge, Albion Fiveways

We have seen evidence of Brisbane engineer Walter Taylor earlier in this blog. The bridge across the river at Indooroopilly that now bears name is his most-remembered work, but he was also involved in the construction of churches, shops, apartment blocks and houses.

There is an earlier bridge too - not on as grand a scale as the Indooroopilly Toll Bridge, but nonetheless on a high density traffic route. It is the bridge across Breakfast Creek to connect Sandgate Rd with Abbotsford Rd, designed and built by Taylor for the Brisbane City Council. It opened in 1928, some eight years prior to his Indooroopilly bridge. Here is a photograph that shows the bridge under construction.
(Photo: Brisbane City Council; BCC-B120-30494)

The bridge was at that time the largest bridge erected by the Council and was given an official opening by the mayor, Alderman William Jolly. There must have been teething problems, however - I found a letter written by Taylor to the editor of the Brisbane Courier in January 1928 in response to apparent criticism of considerable delays in the bridge's construction. Taylor indicates that wet weather, together with a requirement by the Harbours and Marine Department to move the site of the bridge after the contract had commenced, led to unavoidable delays. The letter concluded by saying "It is necessary for me to make these facts public to protect my reputation. I can do a job just as quickly and efficiently as the next man, provided I am allowed to run it..."

In any case the bridge was eventually completed and here is a photograph of the finished item taken in 1928.
(Photo: Brisbane City Council; BCC-B120-13197)

The bridge is still providing sterling service to Brisbane commuters who use Sandgate Rd to get to the CBD, and in peak hours it can be very busy. Here is a recent photograph.
(Photo: © 2014 the foto fanatic)


Click here for a Google Map.

tff



Monday, January 6, 2014

Winchcombe Carson Woolstores, Teneriffe

We have previously looked at the huge Winchcombe Carson building in Teneriffe - once a woolstore, now an upmarket apartment complex. What I didn't tell you then was that the building was designed by Claude Chambers and when completed in 1911, it had 1.5 hectares of floorspace - enough for 20,000 bales of wool.

Here is a photograph that I found recently of the time when the building was being converted to its new identity. This picture was taken in 1997.
(Photo: BCC-S35-97191 1997)

I photographed the building recently and noted that once again there are construction workers climbing all over it. This time, as I understand it, they are removing asbestos from the building. The size of the building must make this a mammoth task and be a hideous cost to the strata title owners.

tff 
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