Street view of the Clarence Corner area of South Brisbane

News of the day

The Brisbane Courier
Friday 24 Dec 1928

The Clarence Corner

Sir - In your issue of Saturday, 8th, I read with interest a letter on the above subject, over the name of Magee and Co., and would like to refer to the statement that the name "Clarence Corner" was first suggested by the members of the Harris and Co.'s drapery business some 30 years ago.

I can look back over 50 years to that part of South Brisbane, when Cobb and Co.'s coaches passed by the old Clarence Hotel on their way to Southport. One driver, named Roderick, was a very popular coachman on this route, and while living at Pimpama at that period I passed the old Clarence Hotel in those coaches on several occasions. Again, less than 10 years later, our family resided at the corner of Merton-road and Peterson-street. I think I am correct in stating that at that time the name Clarence Corner was common among the residents thereabouts. The hotel was then leased by a Mr. King who had a fairly large family. Crump's butchers shop occupied the opposite corner, where the York Hotel now stands, and the Duke of Cornwall Hotel at the corner of Stanley and Allen streets was occupied by the Allen family.

Well do I remember the old line of buses to the outlying South Brisbane districts, run by such proprietors as Chalk, with buses to Kangaroo Point and East Brisbane; Kluver to Wolloongabba and Logan-raod; and Sodens to Boggo and Ipswich roads. The old familiar words of the drivers as they whipped up their pair of tired horses to the call of Stanley-street, Clarence, Woolloongabba, is yet clear to one's memory.

While on this subject reference may be made to the erection of the Boggo-road theatre now known as the Princess. It is just about 40 years since this theatre was erecte. The Ruthven Brothers who resided in the district, were the prime movers, and the architect was a Mr. Ibler. Quite a number of very fine concerts, theatrical performances, nigger minstrel entertainments, and balls were conducted in this building in the early years after its erection.

I am sir
J. R. Costello
South Brisbane, December 12


A number of sections of Clarence Corner have been listed on the Queensland Heritage Register:

Shop Row at Woolloongabba, erected c1903, is important typologically as surviving evidence of Federation-era shop row type in Brisbane, and historically as one of the few surviving commercial buildings of Woolloongabba's early 20th century post-depression recovery.

Hillyard's Shop House is a rare surviving 1860s detached brick shop house complete with service wing and covered carriage-way, indicative of a way of life no longer common in Brisbane, and is important for its association with the early commercial development of the One-mile Swamp [Woolloongabba] area in the 1860s.

Pollock's Shop House provides rare evidence of the early commercial development of One-Mile Swamp/ Woolloongabba in the mid-1860s; of the early brickmaking industry associated with the area at this time, of which little record, either physical or written, survives; and of 1860s brick construction technique and stylistic and aesthetic choices.

Phoenix Buildings are an integral part of a group of commercial buildings which are important in demonstrating the evolution of Clarence Corner as a business and retail centre from the mid-19th century through to the early 20th century, and in particular, illustrate Woolloongabba's commercial development in the 1880s.

Courtesy of the Queensland Heritage Register


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