When Woolloongabba was Wattle Scented

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Building of Brisbane! A Brief Photo History of Urban Renewal.



If the pun "collection fishing" was to be expanded then I suppose this find could be described as "landed one thissssss big". The John Oxley Library has two albums containing over 200 black and white photographs of building and construction projects that the Queensland Cement and Lime Company where involved in. Many of the photographs are of mundane strips of roadway, others show some of Brisbane's more prominent landmarks under construction. Brisbane City Hall, Anzac Square, Grey Street Bridge and the  Mater Hospital.

There are three photographs of buildings still with us today that have been modified from there original use and now redeveloped for residential living. The McWhirters building, the flour mills at Albion and the Qld Primary Producers Co-Op store on the corner of Commercial Road, Teneriffe.


The McWhirters building undergoing construction of the Brunswick and Wickham Street corner extension,1930. This was the third extension for the building that originally fronted Brunswick Street, turned itself back to front in 1912 where the main entrance was from the corner of Warner and Wickham Street. I consider the building the grand dame of the Fortitude Valley and a home to many after a botched retail redevelopment in the late 1980's that left the building's structure seriously compromised, but that's another memory for another time. 


The Albion flour mills are part of a multi-million dollar redevelopment incorporating the neighbouring Albion Railway Station. Whilst a dominate landmark in the suburb for many years I can't help think it will be totally dwarfed by the scale of the new buildings proposed for the rear of the site.





The Qld Primary Producers Co-Op on the corner of Arthur Street and Commercial Road Teneriffe.Whilst not the biggest or grandest of the Teneriffe wool store redevelopments it is significant in the history of Brisbane's urban redevelopment as it was the very first wool stores converted for residential living, nearly 25 years ago.





Watch your step ladies! Tram tracks being laid Brunswick and Wickham Streets, the Prince Consort Hotel fills top left of image 

You can see more of these images at The McWhirters Project Facebook page or view the entire album from the State Library of Queensland Onesearch catalogue.


Images:

John Oxley Libray Collection, State Library of Qld


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