Architectural plan of Customs House, Brisbane
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While Brisbane’s first Customs House opened in March 1850, the steady growth of Brisbane as a port ensured that larger premises would eventually be required. Designed by Colonial Architect Charles Tiffin, the well-known Brisbane contractor John Petrie & Son commenced work on a new Customs House in 1886, with construction being completed three years later at a cost of £39,000. The building features an unusual semi-circular bay, a distinctive copper-sheathed dome and Corinthian columns. The Customs House was taken over by the Commonwealth government following Federation in 1901 and remained under federal control until 1988. Acquired by the University of Queensland under a 99-year lease, the building was completely refurbished and opened as an inner-city facility in 1994. It remains a Brisbane landmark and is one of the State’s best examples of classic revival architecture.


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