Skip links and keyboard navigation

Old Mineral House

The heritage register will be undergoing routine maintenance on Saturday 17 November 2018. The service will not be available during this period. We apologise for any inconvenience.

  • 600092
  • 2 Edward Street, Brisbane City

General

Also known as
Smellie & Co Warehouse
Classification
State Heritage
Register status
Entered
Date entered
21 October 1992
Type
Retail, wholesale, services: Warehouse
Themes
3.8 Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Marketing, retailing and service industries
7.2 Maintaining order: Government and public administration
Architect
Gailey, Richard
Builder
Anthony, William
Construction period
1888–1890, Old Mineral House (1888 - 1890s)
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century
Style
Classicism

Location

Address
2 Edward Street, Brisbane City
LGA
Brisbane City Council
Coordinates
-27.47215686, 153.03026952

Map

Street view

Photography is provided by Google Street View and may include third-party images. Images show the vicinity of the heritage place which may not be visible.

Request a boundary map

A printable boundary map report can be emailed to you.

Significance

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

As an example of a intact late Victorian era warehouse with classical detailing

For the disciplined manner in which it articulates the corner and terminates both the Alice and Edward Street streetscapes

For its association with the firm of Smellie & Co, a prominent Queensland importing, engineering and iron founding firm of the nineteenth century

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

As an example of a intact late Victorian era warehouse with classical detailing

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

For the disciplined manner in which it articulates the corner and terminates both the Alice and Edward Street streetscapes

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

For its association with the firm of Smellie & Co, a prominent Queensland importing, engineering and iron founding firm of the nineteenth century

History

This warehouse was constructed for the firm of Smellie & Co in 1888 with extensions in the late 1890s.

RR Smellie & Co was established in the 1860s as a foundry and engineering works in Alice Street, producing cast iron products for the building industry, and equipment for steamships and locomotives. In the 1880s, RR Smellie & Co altered the orientation of its business, concentrating on importing machinery, implements, and general hardware supplies. The repair and manufacturing plant of RR Smellie & Co was continued by Smith, Forrester, and Co. In 1882, the company became known as Smellie & Co.

The change in direction of the business meant that Smellie & Co required warehouse space. A double-storeyed warehouse was constructed further along Alice Street circa 1884 but these premises proved to be too small as the business prospered in the 1880s. In 1888 a new warehouse, designed by Richard Gailey, was built for the company on the corner of Edward and Alice Streets in 1888. A three storeyed building, it was erected by William Anthony who had tended £6,987 for the project. The warehouse stocked a diverse range of hardware, engineering requisites, and farming equipment. Two storeys were added to the building in the late 1890s as a result of the continuing expansion of the company's business.

In 1930 this building was leased to ACB Limited, drapers, and in 1935, the Department of Public Works became lessees. The Queensland government purchased the property in 1945, along with a number of buildings owned by the firm in the area. Smellie & Co Pty Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in 1946.

The Department of Public Works has used this building for a variety of purposes since 1945. These uses have given the building its various names - Naval House, the Industrial High School, and Mineral House.

Description

Old Mineral House, situated on the corner of Edward and Alice Streets, is a five storeyed building of rendered brick, with a cast iron and timber internal structure and timber flooring.

The street facades are visually divided by rendered vertical bands imitating stonework into three bays in Edward Street, and five in Alice Street. The ground floor level is rendered to simulate broad segmental arched openings with keystones, some containing a pair of windows and others single large openings. The main entry is in the central bay of the Edward Street facade and has a semi-circular arched opening with flanking pilasters supporting an austere projecting entablature and cornice. Paired window openings are situated in the bays on the first and second floors. These are spaced to fit the size of each bay and have rendered quoined surrounds.

A frieze with a cornice above marks the top of the original building. The same bays are continued above this to the new parapet but contain different types of window openings. On the fourth level each bay has three window openings consisting of a wide central one, flanked by narrower openings separated by small pilasters, while on the fifth level, the openings are arched. Another cornice runs around the top of the building at parapet level. Classical pediments free of ornament are situated at the parapet level of the central bay of each street facade. The parapets step to a raised central section which stands above these.

Internally the building's structure is predominantly intact. It consists of cast iron columns supporting timber beams on the lower levels and timber beams and columns on the additional upper levels. The staircases and lifts are more recent additions.

Image gallery

Location

Location of Old Mineral House within Queensland
Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.