Front facade of the Old Brisbane Hall

News of the Day

The Courier Mail, Sat 27 Nov 1937, page 22

Old Town Hall a Link With Early Days

The old Town Hall was completed in 1865 at a cost of £25,000, and the civic fathers of that distant day had every reason for self-gratification.

Every to-day the old building is regarding as one of the finest examples of Italian Renaissance architecture to be seen in Australia. For more than 70 years it classic facade has looked out upon an ever-changing scene in Queen-street. Through the decades demolition and reconstruction attended the relentless march of time.

When the freestone for its construction was excavated from the old Breakfast Creek quarry, the long low front of the convict barracks was still standing on the present site of Allan and Stark's premises. The adjoining site to the south was occupied by a shingle shanty, used as Brisbane's one and only Post Office.

The construction of what was an ambitious building for those times envinced the courage of the civic pioneers and the faith they possessed in the future of the old city. When the old Town Hall was built the municipal council had an income less than £60,000 a year.

At this time Parliament was engaged in railway construction and in preparing a home for itself on the present site at the foot of George Street. The municipality of Brisbane had been constituted just before Separation by a proclamation which the Governor of New South Wales had issued in compliance with a petition signed by 420 householders. The first election of a mayor and aldermen took place in October 1859, immediately before the establishment of Queensland as a colony.

Image note: On the site which is now occupied by Chifley at Lennons Hotel -


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