George Street as well as Queen Street, Wickham Street and the area known as Petrie Bight were unsealed and often dusty before 1899. In 1897, the North Brisbane Council held an election on whether a loan should be raised so the streets could be woodblocked. Agreement was given after a close decision by only a third of registered voters, however the results were limited as the surface was very slippery during the rain and buckled during heavy rains.
The first private residence in Brisbane, a weatherboard, low-ceilinged cottage, was built on George Street. The building remained intact into the 1880s but like similar early houses in the central business district they have been demolished and the land redeveloped.