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Brisbane Arcade

  • 600058
  • 160 Queen Street, Brisbane City

General

Classification
State Heritage
Register status
Entered
Date entered
21 October 1992
Type
Retail, wholesale, services: arcade—shopping
Theme
3.8 Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Marketing, retailing and service industries
Architect
Gailey, Richard Jnr
Builder
Rees, J & EL
Construction period
1924, Brisbane Arcade (1924 - 1924)
Historical period
1919–1930s Interwar period
Style
Classicism

Location

Address
160 Queen Street, Brisbane City
LGA
Brisbane City Council
Coordinates
-27.46889895, 153.02532175

Map

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Significance

Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

The Brisbane Arcade is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a 1920s purpose-built shopping arcade in the central business district of Brisbane.

The Brisbane Arcade is important in exhibiting a range of aesthetic characteristics valued by the Brisbane community and those interested in retail design, in particular the quality of its design, use of materials and craftsmanship displayed in the main internal space and street facades its contribution to the central business district townscape, and the Queen Street and Adelaide Street streetscapes.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

The Brisbane Arcade is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a 1920s purpose-built shopping arcade in the central business district of Brisbane.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

The Brisbane Arcade is important in exhibiting a range of aesthetic characteristics valued by the Brisbane community and those interested in retail design, in particular the quality of its design, use of materials and craftsmanship displayed in the main internal space and street facades its contribution to the central business district townscape, and the Queen Street and Adelaide Street streetscapes.

History

The Brisbane Arcade was opened in 1924. It was constructed at a cost of £70 000 for James O'Neil Mayne and Mary Emelia Mayne whose father, Patrick Mayne, had purchased the property as two adjoining allotments in 1853 (allotment 2 of section 10, with a frontage to Queen Street) and 1854 (allotment 17 of section 10, with a frontage to Adelaide Street).

The arcade was designed by Richard Gailey Jnr, and built by J & E L Rees (Queen Street section), & Forsyth and Speering (Adelaide Street section). It provided a pedestrian and commercial link between Queen and Adelaide Streets. The arcade contained shops with frontages to Adelaide and Queen Streets, 20 shops on the ground level of the arcade, and a further 20 on the first floor. The building also contained office accommodation on the first level. The Arcade was one of a number of building projects in Queen Street during the 1920s including Ascot Chambers in 1924 (QHR 600089); Tattersalls, 1925 (QHR 600093) and the Regent Theatre, 1928 (QHR 600140).

With the deaths of James (1939) and Mary Mayne (1940) the University of Queensland became the beneficiary of the property. In 1983 the arcade was extensively refurbished. The alterations included the addition of a timber panelled canopy, stained timber doors and leadlight glass in the shopfronts. In 1990 the shopfronts on the ground floor were replaced and many of the interiors were altered.

Description

The Brisbane Arcade connects Queen and Adelaide Streets in the block between Edward and Albert Streets. The facades at each end have similar features - both are three storeys high and five window bays across, of face brickwork with cement dressings, and use plain classical details.

The Queen Street facade has triangular Classical pediments at parapet level above each end window bay. These end bays are separated by flanking brick pilasters and have cantilevered balconies on both levels with wrought iron railings consisting of vertical balustrading. The openings contain timber framed multi-paned windows and french doors which open onto the balconies. Ornate floral mouldings are situated on the pilasters to either side of the upper level openings. A deep bracketed cornice runs between the base of the pediments separating the parapet from the remainder of the facade. The parapet has raised sections at each end and in the centre where there is the name 'BRISBANE ARCADE' in raised lettering.

The Adelaide Street facade has a similar arrangement of openings, but has arched windows in the end bays of the top floor with keystones that extend to the cornice line. A similar cornice occurs above all the other window openings as sun hoods. Cantilevered balconies occur only on the first floor level at each end and in the centre. These have wrought iron railings with diagonal balustrading.

The entry to the arcade is central on both facades. The three storey sections extend only part of the distance into the block from both ends and are linked by the two storey arcade. The basement of this central section is currently in use as a food outlet. Some of the ground floor shops have been changed from the traditional materials polished timber shopfronts and lead-light windows to be replaced by marble and other modern products. The central space features a distinctive patterned terrazzo with brass inlay floor finish and timber-battened panel ceilings, it has a void running along the length of the arcade and in this area the roof is raised to admit light through clerestory windows and the metal roof trusses are left exposed.  The arcade thoroughfare is crossed by a central walkway linking the galleries on each side, this upper level also features the polished timber shopfronts and lead-light windows with timber boarded ceilings and balustrades of timber posts with decorative metal infill panels. The upper level is accessed by stairs at each end which retain their original terrazzo finishes. The roof structure above the arcade consists of lightweight exposed steel trusses, and natural light is allowed into the space through clerestory windows on each side.

Image gallery

Location

Location of Brisbane Arcade within Queensland
Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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