TC Beirne Complex and Fortuneland Centre, Brunswick St Elevation

News of the day

Telegraph, Saturday 16 December 1922, page 13


The Valley store of T. C. Beirne's offers a wide field for all in search of suitable articles for Christmas giving, and also for holiday requirements. The show windows offer a wealth of gift suggestions for those who are at a Ioss to know what present would prove most acceptable. The new vestibule windows, in particular, are worthy of mention. In these show windows a fresh note in displays has been struck, by the introduction of settings depicting popular nursery rhymes. These displays will delight the youngsters who will see their old favourite, "Mother Goose" soaring over the mountain tops, on the back of a large goose, and again, "Simple Simon" meeting the pieman, and so on. Other show windows are resplendent with a wealth of jewellery and plate. Art stationery, beautifully got up in decorated boxes, and displays of crepe de chene handkerchiefs, are other suggestions for less expensive presents. Inside the store, the spirit of Christmas is at once apparent. Bon bons, lucky stockings, Christmas delicacies, and all those things which bespeak the festive season are to be seen in plenty. A display of perfumery on the ground floor is very attractive. This showing is in charge of a lady demonstrator, who gives information regarding the perfumes. The display is nicely arranged in beribboned cut glass bottles and decanters. Art lamp shades, and napery in the Manchester section are attractive. The quaint designs of the shades, with their beautiful colourings and their silk and beaded effects, are particularly handsome. The little folks will find Toyland moved from its old location to new and more commodious apartments alongside the Manchester section. The children will meet here Daddy Christmas, surrounded by the newest of toys, including go-carts, tricycles, motor cars, mechanical toys, wooden toys, life size bears and other animals, and dolls of all descriptions. Amongst the latter is a walking doll, which will capture the hearts of little mothers.


The TC Beirne Complex was constructed for Thomas Charles Beirne in 1902 to the design of Robin Dods. The warehouse portion of the building was extended in 1906, and further extensions were made to the structure in 1910 and 1913, also to the design of Dods. By c1931, architects Hennessey & Hennessey had undertaken extensive additions, and in 1938 an extra 30,000 square feet of floor space was added. In 1956 the building was sold to David Jones, and has changed ownership several times since. Geoffrey Pie undertook alterations in 1974.

The success of TC Beirne's store was immediate, and within a few months of opening, the store underwent an expansion into a second and then a third adjoining shop. Beirne attempted to have the owner of the shops, the Anglican Diocese, pay to convert the shops into one store. When this request was rejected, TC Beirne purchased the Diocese holdings in Brunswick Street in 1897 for £8000 on a deposit of £50. The property consisted of five shops and a bank. Architect William Hodgen jnr designed extensive alterations to the property, and by 1900 the business was described as having 'evolved into large bright looking premises with a frontage to Brunswick Street of 110ft'. The same article pronounced TC Beirne & Co. to be one of the 'most popular shopping places in the city of Brisbane'.

Courtesy of Queensland Heritage Register


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