Monday, March 23, 2015

Hobbs Park, CBD

At present almost every bus I take to the city is held up on Adelaide St to allow cement trucks and other delivery vehicles to access the rear of a Grocon development at 480 Queen St. So I was interested to read about a public amenity that is to be included in the new high rise. Here is a news report.

That's right - an outdoor park, accessible to the public, that will provide a unique city vantage point on the fourth floor of the new building. In a nod to Brisbane's history the park will be known as Hobbs Park, named after one of Brisbane's first medical practitioners, Dr William Hobbs, pictured below.  
(Photo: wikipedia)

Dr Hobbs was aged around 27 when he arrived in Brisbane aboard the Chasely in 1849. He had been the ship's surgeon on that voyage, and then set up in private practice in Brisbane. When Dr David Ballow died from typhus in 1850 Dr Hobbs took over as resident surgeon of Brisbane Hospital for a time, but otherwise remained in private practice although he held several honorary appointments during his lifetime here. He became a member of Queensland's legislative council (the now abolished upper house) in 1861. But none of those was the reason for naming this park after Dr Hobbs.

In 1853 William Hobbs married Anna Louisa Barton, the sister of Sir Edmund Barton, and they moved to a house built for them on Adelaide St by Andrew Petrie. The house is still extant and is right opposite the Adelaide St side of the new Grocon building. At the time of its completion the house was so far away from Brisbane's business area it was known as Hobbs' Folly. Dr Hobbs preferred to call it Adelaide House, and it is shown photographed below around 1882 after significant earth works had taken place on the Adelaide St ridge.
(Photo: JOL 21925)

When Queensland separated from New South Wales the state's first governor, Sir George Bowen, read the proclamation from the verandah of Adelaide House which then became a temporary Government House until the purpose-built one on George St was completed. Here is a later photograph - this one is from around 1921 and the view from the new park should be similar.
(Photo: SLQ 152917)

The public park in the completed Grocon project will overlook St John's Anglican Cathedral and the former Hobbs residence which is now part of the cathedral precinct and known as The Deanery. This is how the developers say it should look when completed.

Click here for a Google Map.


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