Brisbane City Hall
The City of Brisbane is the Local Government Area (LGA) that has jurisdiction over the inner portion of the metropolitan area of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Unlike LGAs in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, where LGAs are generally responsible only for the relatively small Central Business Districts of those cities, the City of Brisbane administers a significant portion of the Brisbane metropolitan area and has a larger population than any other Local Government Area in Australia. The City of Brisbane was the first Australian LGA to reach a population of more the one million. The population of the LGA is roughly equivalent to the populations of Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory combined. The Council administers a budget of over A$3 billion.
The Local Government Area is the combination of the local cities, towns and shires that merged together in 1925. The main offices and Central Library for the Council are at 266 George Street, also known as Brisbane Square. The Brisbane City Hall houses the Council Chamber, the offices of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Mayor, meeting and reception rooms and the Museum of Brisbane.
The Queensland state government created the City of Brisbane with a view to uniting the then Brisbane metropolitan area under one planning and governance structure. The City of Brisbane Act 1924 received assent from the Governor on 30 October 1924. On 1 October 1925, 20 local government areas of various sizes were abolished and merged into the new city, namely:
The Council also assumed responsibility for several quasi-autonomous government authorities, such as the Brisbane Tramways Trust.
The City of Brisbane is governed by the Brisbane City Council, the largest local council in Australia. The Brisbane City Council has its power divided between a powerful executive Lord Mayor, a parliamentary-style council of twenty-six councillors representing single-member wards of approximately 23,000 voters, and a Civic Cabinet comprising the Lord Mayor and the chairpersons of the seven standing committees drawn from the membership of Council. The Lord Mayor is the person elected by the largest single electorate in Australia. The seven standing committees of Council are:
Community Services Committee
Environment and Sustainability Committee
Public Transport Committee
Roads, TransApex and Traffic Committee
Urban Planning and Economic Development Committee
Water and City Businesses Committee
The council also owns three business units which are city-owned enterprises managed on commercial lines:
Following Local Government elections on 15 March 2008, 10 councillors are members of the Australian Labor Party while 16 councillors and the Lord Mayor are from the Liberal National Party. The current Lord Mayor of Brisbane is Graham Quirk, who replaced civil engineer Campbell Newman in April 2011, when he resigned to enter Queensland State Politics. Graham Quirk belongs to the Liberal National Party. The current Deputy Mayor is Adrian Schrinner. The day-to-day management of Council's operations is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer who is currently Colin Jensen.
Elections are held every four years with ballots for the Lord Mayoralty and the individual councillors being held simultaneously. Voting is compulsory for all eligible electors. The election in March 2004 resulted in the unusual situation of a Liberal Lord Mayor co-existing with a Labor majority on Council, resulting in remarkably few conflicts over civic budgets and Council policy. The most recent election in March 2008 saw a swing of 5.5% to the Liberal National Party on the councillor votes, resulting in a Liberal majority on Council with a Liberal Lord Mayor (Lord Mayor Campbell Newman won re-election with 60% of the primary vote).
The Brisbane City Council is incorporated under the City of Brisbane Act 1924, while other local governments in Queensland are governed by the Local Government Act 1993.
Council meetings are held at Level 5, 157 Ann St, Brisbane City every Tuesday at 2pm except during recess and holiday periods. This temporary venue is in use due to the restoration work being performed on the traditional venue Brisbane City Hall. Meetings are generally open to the public.
Brisbane City Council aims to be carbon neutral by 2026 via the reduction of emissions and carbon offsetting.
Brisbane Coat of Arms
The motto of the City of Brisbane is Meliora sequimur, Latin for We aim for better things. The Council's corporate slogan is Dedicated to a better Brisbane. The city's colours are blue and gold. Its corporate logo was introduced in 1982 in preparation for the Commonwealth Games hosted in Brisbane that year. It features a stylised version of Brisbane's City Hall which opened in 1930. The city's floral emblem is the (exotic) poinsettia and its faunal emblem is the Graceful Tree Frog.
Flag of Brisbane
As of 20 June 2011, the twenty-six wards, their councillors and their party affiliations are:
Ward Party Councillor
Bracken Ridge LNP Amanda Cooper
Central Labor David Hinchliffe
Chandler LNP Adrian Schrinner
Deagon Labor Victoria Newton
Doboy Labor John Campbell
Enoggera LNP Andrew Wines
Hamilton LNP David McLachlan
Holland Park LNP Ian McKenzie
Jamboree LNP Matthew Bourke
Karawatha Labor Gail MacPherson
MacGregor LNP Steven Huang
Marchant LNP Fiona King
McDowall LNP Norm Wyndham
Moorooka Labor Steve Griffiths
Morningside Labor Shayne Sutton
Northgate Labor Kim Flesser
Parkinson LNP Angela Owen-Taylor
Pullenvale LNP Margaret de Wit
Richlands Labor Milton Dick
Tennyson LNP/Independent Nicole Johnston
The Gabba Labor Helen Abrahams
The Gap LNP Geraldine Knapp
Toowong LNP Peter Matic
Walter Taylor LNP Julian Simmonds
Wishart LNP Krista Adams
Wynnum Manly Labor Peter Cumming
 Sister cities
The City of Brisbane has seven sister cities. They are:
Japan Kobe, Japan (July 1985)
New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand (August 1988)
China Shenzhen, People's Republic of China (June 1992)
Indonesia Semarang, Indonesia (January 1993)
Republic of China Kaohsiung, Taiwan (September 1997)
South Korea Daejeon, South Korea (June 2002)
China Chongqing, People's Republic of China (October 2005)
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (February 2009)
^1 Direct-controlled municipality of the People's Republic of China
In 1995, Brisbane City Council officially severed all ties with its sister city, Nice, France, in protest against the Chirac government's decision to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean. Brisbane does not have any sister city relationship with any North American, South American, African or European city.
Former South Brisbane Town Hall
The former South Brisbane Municipal Chambers building is affectionately known by the Somerville House community as the Old Town Hall as it sits across the road from the site where the old South Brisbane Town Hall originally stood. This building was purchased by Somerville House in 1999 and beautifully refurbished and opened in 2006 to become the home of the Somerville House Foundation and the Somerville House Development Office. The School's registrar is also housed in this building.
Apart from the office space in this building, the Old Town Hall features a board room, dining room, two kitchens and an elegant presentation room which resembles a small ballroom known as the Chamber Room. Stained glass featuring the initials of SBMC still remain in the Chamber Room to remind all who use this space of the building's original name and purpose. This room is used as a venue for student concerts and presentations, professional development for staff, and as a social space for our Old Girls and parents.
The Old Town Hall is located on the corner of Graham Street and Vulture Street and can be seen from a distance from any direction due to its distinct clock tower.
Parliament House - Brisbane
Parliament House in Brisbane is the home of the Parliament of Queensland, housing the Legislative Assembly. It is situated on the corner of George Street and Alice Street. Parliament House is bordered by the Queensland University of Technology and the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens.
When Queensland was established as a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859, its new Parliament met in temporary quarters at the Old Convict Barracks in Queen Street. This facility sufficed whilst the Government of Queensland directed funds for construction of Government House.
In 1886, the building was connected to the Government Printing Office via an underground cable. This provided the building with an electrical supply, the first for any Parliament House in Australia.
Parliament House and Parliamentary Annexe
Parliament House, George Street entry
In 1863, design plans by Robert Tiffin for a new Parliament House were finally selected from an Australia-wide design competition. Amid controversy and allegations of undue influence on the outcome of the competition, Tiffin donated his prize money for the design to the Ipswich Grammar School. In 1864 the foundation stone for the building was laid, and it was built by Joshua Jeays. The George Street frontage was completed in 1868 in French Renaissance Revival style, with some Second Empire-style elements. The colonnades were built in 1878, and construction on the Alice Street frontage commenced in 1887.
The original zinc roof was replaced in the 1980s with one constructed from Mount Isa copper. A 22-storey Parliamentary Annexe building was completed in 1979, built within the grounds of the old Parliament House.
 Public use
Art exhibitions and other displays are frequently staged in the spacious ground floor areas of the Annexe.
Free public guided tours of the Parliament are available each week day. Also, a gift shop, selling souvenirs and memorabilia, is located in the main foyer.
Parliament House was also used as one of the filming locations for the 1980s Australian series of Mission: Impossible.
Brisbane City Hall
Brisbane City Hall, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, is the seat of the Brisbane City Council. It is located adjacent to King George Square, where the rectangular City Hall has its main entrance. The City Hall also has frontages and entrances in both Ann Street and Adelaide Street. The building is considered one of Brisbane's finest and is registered on the Register of the National Estate since 1978.
The foundation laying ceremony, 29 July 1920
The City Hall was once the tallest building in Brisbane (see external links below for image from 1957). The building was designed by the firm Hall & Prentice, in association with four young New South Wales Architects: Bruce Dellit, Peter Kaad, Emil Sodersten  and Noel Wilson. The foundation stone was laid in July 1920 by Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII / Duke of Windsor), with a opal encrusted 18ct gold and trowel, designed by Peter Kaad. Brisbane City Hall was opened in 1930. An earlier foundation stone had been laid in 1917 by Queensland Governor (Major Sir Hamilton J. Goold-Adams) in advance of the building's construction, however it was later found to be out of alignment, and it was removed. This stone, stored in a Brisbane City Council depot, later disappeared from record.
The clock tower of Brisbane City Hall is 91 m (298 ft) high.
The building was designed according to the Italian Renaissance style, symmetrical and formal. It has three floors and a partial basement. The total cost of the project including furniture, fitout and furnishing was ₤1,000,000.
Brisbane City Hall has an imposing 70 m clock tower (rising 91 m above ground level), based on the design of the St Mark's Campanile in Venice, Italy. Above the main entrance is a bronze awning and the doors are also made of bronze. Lions heads are found above these columns. The columns supporting the tympanum are of the Corinthian order while the columns extending on either side are of the Ionic order.
The four clock faces on each side of the tower are the largest in Australia. The clock has Westminster Chimes, which sound on the quarter hour, and can be heard from the Queen St Mall and, at times, in the surrounding suburbs. Above the clocks is an observation platform, open to the public and accessible by lift between 10am and 3pm seven days a week, free. For many years this afforded spectacular views of Brisbane, but since the relaxation of height limits for surrounding buildings in the late 1960s, the view is now somewhat restricted.
The centre of City Hall features a stunning auditorium, based on the Pantheon, Rome, and several smaller reception rooms. The auditorium is a large circular hall that can seat up to 2,500 people and is covered by a large copper dome. When originally built it was intended that the building would house most of the Council's administrative offices, Aldermen's (councillors') offices, the Council Chamber, a public library and several reception rooms, in addition to the auditorium. As the role of local government increased in the 1950s and 1960s, the reception rooms, hallways and side entrance vestibules (in Adelaide and Ann Streets) were converted to office space. Additional offices were constructed on the roof and in the basement.
Brisbane City Hall around 1930.
The building was officially opened on 8 April 1930. However it had been partially occupied since 1927. In 1969 the council commenced the acquisition of the properties to the south of the City Hall, and in 1975 opened the Brisbane Administration Centre (or BAC), a 20 floor tower and surrounding plaza. Most of the Council's offices then moved from the City hall to the BAC. Until the opening of the new Brisbane Square in December 2006, the City Hall continued to house the office of the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, which was previously located on the first level of the King George Square side of the building. The Council Chambers (located on the Adelaide Street side of the building), and councillors' offices, remain however in City Hall.
In the 1980s work commenced on the full-scale restoration of the building, opening up the side entrance vestibules and restoring a number of the reception rooms to their original design. These reception rooms are named for former local government areas subsumed into Greater Brisbane in 1925, such as the Sherwood Room, or the Ithaca Room. From 2003 the Museum of Brisbane (which has galleries positioned on both sides of the building's entrance from King George Square) has replaced administration offices.
 King George Square
The City Hall faces King George Square, named in honour of King George V. Originally this area, between Ann and Adelaide Streets, was much narrower than at present and was called Albert Square. In the late 1960s premises on the square opposite the City Hall were acquired by the City Council, demolished and the area levelled to form a larger square. The creation of the enlarged square was criticised in some quarters as it resulted in the removal of the original imposing flight of stone stairs in front of the building, when the ground level in front of the City Hall was raised to the level of the main entrance. When Albert Square was redeveloped into King George Square, the existing fountain at Albert Square was relocated to Wynnum.
King George Square is a popular place for public gatherings, rallies and protest marches. As part of the Inner-Northern Busway project, King George Square has been remodelled.
 Construction materials
The building is constructed of concrete, brick and steel, with a base of Camp Mountain Granite. The granite was extracted by the first builder, Arthur Midson, from his quarry at Camp Mountain near Samford. This deposit was worked just for the City Hall project. Above Midson's granite base courses, the east, north and west sides are clad in Helidon Freestone, a type of sandstone extracted from Wright's Quarry at Helidon. The sandstone cladding was constructed (together with the rest of the building) by builder Douglas Dunn Carrick. The clock tower has a steel framework, and is clad in the same sandstone. The interior includes two marble columns that support an arch above a ground marble staircase.
 Notable works
Daphne Mayo's tympanum above the King George Square entrance to the Brisbane City Hall
The sculptured pediment above the portico and entrance, known as the tympanum, was carved by noted Brisbane sculptor Daphne Mayo in the early 1930s. There is some controversy surrounding the theme of the tympanum, which depicts the settlement of Queensland. The gown-clad female figure in the centre depicts "progress" or "enlightenment", while settlers with their cattle and explorers with their horses, move out from under her protecting arms to claim the land from the indigenous people and native animals, who are represented by two aboriginal males crouching in the left hand corner, and a fleeing kangaroo. To the right corner one can see a young European male and female, adjoined by a sheep and a row of books and an artist's palette representing the new European nation, agriculture and civilisation. The tympanum measures 16.5 m long with a height of 3 m at its centre.
The bronze lion sculptures and statue of King George V, in front of the King George Square façade of Brisbane City Hall, were initially part of the King George V memorial, which was unveiled in 1938 as a tribute to the King from the citizens of Brisbane. Since 2007, the lions, modelled on the bronze lions of Trafalgar Square, London, and the statue, have been removed for renovations to the Square. They were re-incorporated into the new redeveloped King George Square in 2009.
An accompanying bronze work to complement the King George V pediment sculpture, based on the life of the pioneering Brisbane family, the Petrie's (famously of Brisbane's First Mayor John Petrie), known as the Petrie Tableau, also has been removed due to renovations at the square.
Forme del Mito, a collection of large bronze thematic sculptured works by renowned Italian artist Arnaldo Pomodoro, one of the more prominent works of art collected for and displayed at Brisbane's Expo '88, previously took pride of place in King George Square. In 2007, they were removed for renovation to take place. They are now situated at the foot of Jacob's Ladder, at the entrance to Wickham Terrace.
The 4,600 pipes organ was built in 1892 by Henry Willis & Sons Organ Builders in Liverpool, UK, for the Brisbane Exhibition Building at Bowen Park. It remained in the Exhibition Concert Hall until it was moved to the Brisbane City Hall in 1927. The City Hall’s first organ recital was held in 1929. The organ concert held on 14 November 2009 celebrated the 80th anniversary of the organ installation in the Brisbane City Hall but was also the last organ recital before the commencement of the restoration. When City Hall closed on 31 December 2009, the organ was totally dismantled and removed from the building for storage. It is planned that the organs will return to the hall three years later.
 2008/2009 developments
King George Square, in front of the Brisbane City Hall, redevelopment included a new re-modelled public plaza, restaurants, gift shops and a stage. It was completed in October 2009, for the 150th Anniversary of Brisbane as State Capital of Queensland,
It is also the site of the new underground King George Square busway station, linking the Queen Street bus station with the Roma Street Station and the northern suburbs.
 Structural problems
Brisbane City Hall was built on swampy ground; This has caused the iconic building to suffer from the problems of rising damp. Serious problems have been identified with the building, including: subsidence, concrete cancer, a lack of reinforcing in the concrete and old wiring. The Brisbane City Council has set up a taskforce to address these issues, raise awareness, co-ordinate restoration and fundraise. The Brisbane City Hall closed on December 31, 2009, for the three year restoration project.
 2010-2012 Restoration Project
King George Square's bronzes removed during redevelopment work
Since 31 December 2009, Brisbane City Hall has been closed for three years to undergo large scale restoration works. The works involve replacement of all building services (electrical, mechanical, fire, hydraulic systems etc.), structural works to building interiors, dome and auditorium and conservation of the original heritage surfaces and building facade. The grand organs have been removed from the building for the duration of the building works.
Brisbane City Hall is expected to reopen in late 2012.
Former Land Administration Building - Brisbane
The former Lands Administration Building (which was known as the Executive Building prior to 1971) is a four-storeyed ex-government office building occupying a site bounded by George Street, Stephens Lane, William Street and Queens Gardens in Brisbane, Australia. The building currently forms part of the Conrad Treasury Casino and houses a 5 star hotel.
The form and scale of the building complement the former Treasury Building and the former State Library located nearby.
The building was designed by the Queensland Government’s chief architect Thomas Pye in the Edwardian Baroque style. Foundation preparation work commenced in 1899 and the main construction phase commenced in 1901. The principal elevation of the building is towards Queens Gardens and the elevations to George and William Streets have banded rustication on the lower two storeys. This two-storeyed base supports a colonnade of giant ionic order columns.
Opened in 1905, the building was initially intended as offices for the Queensland Government's Lands and Survey Departments, it was finished and occupied in 1905 as the Executive Building, accommodating both the Lands and Survey Departments and offices of the Premier and Executive Council.
The building was symbolic of state pride and achievement, and was seen as a showcase for Queensland materials. Granite used as the base course and plinth was obtained from Enoggera and Mount Crosby. Brown freestone from Helidon was used to face the outer walls, and freestone from Yangan near Warwick was used on the colonnade walls. The decorative carving to the facades, completed during 1903-04, included in the north-western elevation an allegorical group representing Queensland mining and agriculture, carved by New South Wales sculptor WP MacIntosh to a design by Thomas Pye. The mantelpieces were constructed of a variety of Queensland timbers (maple, cedar, black bean and silky oak) representing the state's timber resources. Allegorical stained glass highlighted the rural nature of the Queensland economy.
The Queensland National Art Gallery occupied a purpose-designed room the length of the third floor above George Street from 1905 until 1930.
Both the Queensland State Executive Council and Cabinet met in the building from 1905 until 1971, when new offices were constructed at 100 George Street. Since then the former Executive Building has been known as the Lands Administration Building.
The building features stained glass in the entrance vestibules and elsewhere in the interior which complements the use of sculpture externally. Of particular importance is a marble tablet set into the wall of the George Street entrance inscribed with the message sent by King George V to the people of Australia on 25 April 1916, establishing the Anzac Day tradition.
Customs House - Brisbane
Customs House is a building located on Queen Street by the Brisbane River in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was originally used for the collection of customs duty and was both completed and opened in 1889, when Queensland was a British colony, replacing the original Customs House located at Petrie Bight. Construction was finished in three years at a cost of ₤38,346. The downstream end of the Brisbane central business district was selected to spur the development of wharves in the precinct known as Petrie Bight.
Customs House is a Brisbane landmark known for its distinctive copper dome. The building was designed by Charles McLay of the Queensland Colonial Architect's Office. Despite no government in the country having a coat of arms at the time, the building features a depiction on its facade of a shield between an emu and kangaroo. An iron balustrade was shipped from England with the initials VR wrought on it. Inside the structure features black and white marble with cedar fittings.
The building became redundant when port facilities moved to the Port of Brisbane at the mouth of the Brisbane River, resulting in its closure in April 1988. The building is now leased by the University of Queensland and was refurbished between 1991 and 1994, at a cost of A$7.5 million. There is a restaurant and function centre within the building, and regular concerts and art exhibitions are also held here. The Long Room was once the place customs business was transacted. Today the room is used for lectures and dinners.
The Customs House was registered on the Register of the National Estate in 1980.
Customs House is within reach of the CityCat catamaran ferry service, as well as the Free Loop Bus.
Treasury Building - Brisbane
The Treasury Casino, also known as The Treasury is a casino in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It also houses a hotel, five restaurants, seven bars, and a nightclub. The casino is operated by ECHO Entertainment Group.
One per cent of the casino's gross gaming revenue is deposited in the Jupiters Casino Community Benefit Fund. This fund supports non-profit community based groups and is administered by the Government of Queensland.
The casino and hotel occupy two of Australia's grandest heritage buildings, the Treasury Building, and the nearby Lands Administration Building. The buildings are separated by Queens Park. A 700 vehicle carpark is located beneath the park.
 Architecture and refurbishment
An early 19th century building with Edwardian-Baroque exterior designs and ornate colonnades, striking sandstone walls and six-story atrium, the historic Treasury Building houses a three-level gaming emporium of 80 gaming tables and over 1300 gaming machines and was opened refurbished as the Treasury Casino in April 1995. The hotel section of the Conrad Treasury Casino is housed in the former Lands Administration Building.
There are also function rooms, each with its own personality and design sense, available for booking. These rooms range from early 19th century designed to modern business meeting rooms.
Conrad Treasury Casino building — Elizabeth Street façade (photo taken from Queens Gardens)
Treasury offers a number of gambling games:
Blackjack - 6 Deck, Doubling allowed after splitting, Split once.
Treasury 21 - A variant of Spanish 21.
Treasury Wheel - Australian Big Six wheel.
Caribbean Stud Poker
Texas Hold'em Poker
Gaming Slot machines
Texas Hold'em Bonus Poker
General Post Office - Brisbane
The General Post Office in Brisbane, Australia, also known as the GPO, is an Australia Post building located between Queen Street and Elizabeth Street.
The GPO was opened on 28 September 1872. In 1873, the Queensland Museum was housed in the General Post Office building, but moved in 1879 to the William Street building.
Opposite the GPO building is Post Office Square.
George Street Mansions - Brisbane
The Mansions is a heritage listed set of six three-storied terrace houses located on the corner of George Street and Margaret Street, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  The building is significant because few terrace houses were ever built in Brisbane and even fewer remain intact today.
They were built during the Victorian era in 1889 for residential use. The classic Italian design was created by G.H.M Addison using plain red bricks. Cat sculptures on the building's parapet were rendered in New Zealand limestone.
An early resident of "The Mansions" was Dr. Lillian Cooper, who was Queensland's first female doctor and Australia's first female surgeon. After World War I the building became a rooming house and in 1954 was bought by the Government of Queensland to be used as offices.
In 2002, "The Mansions" were featured in a television advertisement for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, which starred Steve Irwin.
Former Government Printing Office - Brisbane
The Queensland Museum is the state museum of Queensland. The museum currently operates four separate campuses; at South Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba and Townsville.
The museum is funded by the State Government of Queensland.
Queensland Museum — 1862–1869
The Old Windmill in Wickham Terrace
(Queensland Museum's first home)
Queensland Museum — 1879–1899
cnr. William Street and Elizabeth Street, Brisbane — (opposite Queens Gardens)
Queensland Museum — 1899–1986
the Old Museum Building in Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills
Queensland Museum (1986–present), a part of the Queensland Cultural Centre. A pedestrian bridge, linking the museum and the Queensland Art Gallery to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and also to lifts to platforms at the Cultural Centre Busway Station, can be seen on the right.
The Queensland Museum was founded by the Queensland Philosophical Society on 20 January, 1862, one of the principal founders being Charles Coxen, and had several temporary homes in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The temporary homes included: The Old Windmill (1862–1869), Parliament House (1869–1873) and the General Post Office (1873–1879). The first professional curator was Karl Theodor Staiger.
The Queensland Government built a home for the Museum in William Street (later called the John Oxley State Library), with Queensland Museum moving there in 1879. The museum occupied the William Street location for 20 years.
In 1899, the Queensland Museum moved into the Exhibition Hall (now called the Old Museum), on Gregory Terrace in the Brisbane suburb of Bowen Hills, remaining there for 86 years.
In 1986, the Queensland Museum moved to the Queensland Cultural Centre at South Bank, where the museum is adjacent to the Queensland Art Gallery.
 Museum Network
Queensland Museum South Bank
Queensland Museum South Bank and the Sciencentre are closed for renovations and plan to reopen after Christmas 2011 in time for the 150th anniversary celebrations in January 2012.
Queensland Museum South Bank is located at the heart of Brisbane’s cultural precinct alongside the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
The largest and oldest campus of the Queensland Museum network, Queensland Museum South Bank aims to connect visitors to Queensland, its people and their stories of the past, present and future.
Popular exhibitions include ENERGEX Playasaurus Place, Inquiry Centre and Dandiiri Maiwar.
The Sciencentre, a project of the Queensland Museum, was relocated from the former Government Printing Office building on George Street to a South Bank site in 2004.
The Sciencentre aims to reveal the science and technology behind our everyday lives.
The Workshops Rail Museum
The Workshops Rail Museum includes more than 15 exhibits for visitors to discover the enormous impact rail has had on Queensland.
In 2011 The Workshops Rail Museum set a new world record with the longest ever toy train track and has been registered with the Guinness Book of World Records.
In 1987, when the Queensland Museum required more room to display its horse-drawn coaches and carriages, the museum opened its Cobb & Co Museum campus in Toowoomba, Queensland.
Cobb+Co Museum is home to the National Carriage Collection. The museum's collection includes examples of a vast range of vehicles from the horse-drawn era, from farm wagons and delivery carts to the Rolls Royce of Carriages, the landau.
Cobb+Co Museum run a heritage workshops program. Workshops include blacksmithing, silversmithing, leadlighting and leatherwork.
Museum of Tropical Queensland
The star attraction is the HMS Pandora gallery. Sent to catch the famous HMS Bounty and her mutinous crew, the Pandora sank off the coast of Cape York in 1791. Hundreds of amazing artefacts have been recovered from the wreck and are on display.
The most popular area for kids is the MindZone, a fun interactive science centre. Other galleries celebrate the rainforest, corals and marine creatures from the deep sea and fossil past.
 Queensland Museum Medal
The first Queensland Museum Medal was awarded in 1987. Recipients of the Queensland Museum Medal for research include:
1987 — Professor Mike Archer
1988 — Mr Jack Woods, ISO — Mr F.S. Colliver, OBE — Emeritus Prof. Syd Prentice — Mr Jack Woods, ISO — Mr Terry Tebble — Mr Don Vernon — Dr Valerie Davis
1989 — Mr Leonard J. Taylor
1990 — Mr J.C.H. Gill, AM MBE — Mr I.G. Morris CMG
1991 — Dr Patricia Mather AO
1992 — Mr R.I. (Sam) Harrison MBE — Mr Doug Traves OBE — Professor Colin Dobson
1993 — Dr Robert Paterson
1995 — Dr Elwyn Hegarty — Professor Don Nicklin
1996 — Dr Mary Wade
1997 — Mr John Lyons
1999 — Mr Ian Venables
2000 — Keith McDonald — Dr Alan Bartholomai
2003 — Ms Jeanette Covacevich AM — Mr Steve Irwin
2004 — Dr Lester Cannon — Dr Dan Robinson — Dr Robert Anderson OAM
2005 — Mrs Nerolie Withnall — Mrs Rae Sheridan — Mr Bruce Campbell
2006 — The Elliott Family — Mr Bill O’Brien OBE OAM
2007 — Mr Bill Kitson — Dr Geoff Monteith
2008 — Dr Steve Van Dyck — Mr Vince O’Rourke AM
2009 — Ms Anne Jones — Dr Carden Wallace — Mr Michael Quinnell
2010 — Sir David Attenborough — Dr John Hooper
2011 — Professor Peter Andrews AO — Dr John Stanisic
 Links to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Busway
Both a tunnel and pedestrian bridge connect the Museum and Art Gallery buildings with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Three lifts were added to the bridge in 2004 to provide access to the platforms of the Cultural Centre busway station. There is a large sculpture of a Cicada in front of the centre lift, possibly because the Cultural Centre busway station is the bus stop for the museum.
 Recent/Future Exhibitions
Former Exhibition Building - Brisbane
The Old Museum Building is a performance venue in Bowen Hills, Brisbane, Australia.
The Old Museum was originally called the Exhibition Building and Concert Hall. It was built in 1891 for the Queensland National Agricultural and Industrial Association after Brisbane's first exhibition building, which had occupied the land, was destroyed by fire on 13 June 1888. At the time of the fire the building was being used as a skating rink.
The land had been used by the Queensland Acclimatisation Society from 1863-1875.
The new exhibition building was designed by the architect George Henry Male Addison (1857–1922). The style of the building may best be described as progressive eclecticism. It is entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.
The Queensland Government took over control of the building and grounds when the National Association was forced into liquidation by the economic depression in 1897.
In 1899, the Exhibition Hall became home to the Queensland Museum, with the museum remaining in the building until the museum's relocation to the Queensland Cultural Centre in 1986. During the Queensland Museum's 86 years in the building, other parts of the building were used as a Concert Hall and an Art Gallery. Because of the Queensland Museum's long occupancy of the building, the building is now known as the Old Museum.
The Old Museum building is home to the Queensland Youth Orchestras, who use the building as a rehearsal, performance and office space. The building is also home for the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland Youth Choir, Queensland Wind and Brass, Brisbane River City Clippers Barbershop Chorus, Queensland Rhythmic Gymnastics Organisation, Queensland Police Pipes and Drums and the Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre Company.
The play Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare, was also presented in the Old Museum building in 1989. Members of the cast included Geoffrey Rush and Jane Menelaus.
The Old Museum building was also used as one of the sites for the 1980s Australian series of Mission: Impossible.
State Library - Brisbane
The State Library of Queensland is a large public library provided to the people of the State of Queensland, Australia, by the state government. Its legislative basis is provided by the Queensland Libraries Act 1988. It contains a significant portion of Queensland’s documentary heritage, major reference and research collections, and is an advocate of and partner with public libraries across Queensland. The library is at Kurilpa Point, within the Queensland Cultural Centre on the Brisbane River at South Bank.
The Brisbane Public Library was established by the government of the Colony of Queensland in 1896, and was renamed the Public Library of Queensland in 1898. The library was opened to the public in 1902.
In 1934 the Oxley Memorial Library (now the John Oxley Library, and named for the explorer John Oxley), opened as a centre for research and study relating specifically to Queensland. The Libraries Act of 1943 established the Library Board of Queensland to manage the Public Library of Queensland; three years later, under the terms of The Oxley Memorial Library of Queensland Act, it took over management of the Oxley Memorial Library as well.
The old State Library with extension, built in the late 1950s
A year after that, James L. Stapleton was appointed Queensland's first State Librarian. He remains the longest-serving CEO, and has been followed by four others:
Sidney Lawrence (Lawrie) Ryan (1970–1988)
Des Stephens (1988–2001)
Lea Giles-Peters (2001–2011)
Janette Wright (2012- )
In 1971, the "Public Library" became the "State Library." The following year, the Public Library Service was established to liaise with Queensland local authorities regarding their public libraries; a subsidy for employing qualified staff in public libraries was also established. A few years later the Country Lending Service (CLS) was established to provide book exchange and other services to public libraries in Queensland's smaller local government areas. The CLS is still going strong today, administered by the State Library's Public Library Services program.
In 2003 the State Library began a new mission when it established the first fifteen of its Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs) in the Cape York and Torres Strait regions. Other IKCs were opened in the following years.
The library's current mission statement motto is Creatively linking Queenslanders to information, knowledge and each other.
 Collection and services
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General collections, including books, journals and magazines, newspapers, audiovisual, family history, maps, music, ephemera, Internet and electronic resources.
Research collections and services – including the John Oxley Library and the Australian Library of Art, which includes the James Hardie Library of Australian Fine Arts.
Access to collections, including access to 50,000 Copyright-free Queensland images through Wikimedia Commons
Provides books and other resource material to public libraries throughout Queensland.
Specialist services to public libraries in a number of areas, including services to young people and multicultural communities.
Public programs and exhibitions, including exhibition loans to schools, museums and other community organisations.
Outreach programs in reference, research, information literacy, Internet training and digitisation throughout Queensland for public library staff and the general community.
Library services to Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders including the establishment of Indigenous Knowledge Centres primarily in Cape York and Torres Strait regions and increasing the employment and training opportunities for Indigenous peoples in the library industry.
A digital culture centre called The Edge, for young people.
Interior of the State Library
The then-Brisbane Public Library moved into the old State Library building in William Street, Brisbane in 1899. This building had formerly been occupied by the Queensland Museum.
The Library originally shared accommodation in the building with an art gallery. In the late 1950s, an extension, with a distinctive tiled mural on the exterior, was built onto the building to provide more space. The mural was the winning design in a national competition held in 1958.
In 1988, the State Library of Queensland moved to a new home within the Queensland Cultural Centre at South Bank, near the Queensland Museum and the original Queensland Art Gallery.
After three years of extensive redevelopment, the South Bank building officially re-opened on 25 November 2006 as "a new cultural and knowledge destination" and a fitting showcase for the collections. New services include the kuril dhagun Indigenous Knowledge Centre, and The Corner, an activities area for children under 8, their parents, carers, educators and friends.
The newly redeveloped building was designed by Brisbane based architecture firms Donovan Hill and Peddle Thorp. Their work earned them the prestigious RAIA Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture, 2007 (award for best public building in Australia) and the RAIA Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture, 2007.
The building overlooks Stanley Place between the Queensland Art Gallery and the new Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.
The State Library of Queensland is governed by the Library Board of Queensland and comprises the following program units:
Finance, Facilities & Administration
Information Communications and Technology Services
Indigenous Library Services
Marketing & Communications
People & Learning
Policy & Planning
Public Library Services
Queensland Community Books
Former Government House - Brisbane
Old Government House is perhaps the most significant heritage building in Queensland. The first public building to be designed and built in the new colony of Queensland it housed the Governor and served as a family home, an administrative centre, and a social hub for the new colony. The design of the building supports this diversity of roles and unfolds to the visitor the social structure of Victorian society captured in the 'bricks and mortar' of the building.
Old Government House provides a window to our colonial past. In the first half of the century of Queensland's history a far flung corner of the British Empire progressed to Statehood in a new Federal Australia giving birth to the Labor party and votes for women among many far reaching changes and developments.
Family Services Building - Brisbane
The Family Services Building is significant as Queensland's first government high-rise office block, and the most important building constructed by the Queensland government in the second decade of the twentieth century.
Criterion E The Family Services Building is significant as an integral member of the most prominent, important and cohesive group of government buildings in Queensland. Further, the Family Services Building is significant for its townscape contribution, particularly in relation to the adjacent historic buildings and sites. Significant as an early use of steel-framed high-rise construction in Queensland, the Family Services Building is also an accomplished building in design, materials and workmanship, which exhibits particularly fine and inventive detailing, and is important for the aesthetic quality of the sculptural work.
Criterion F Significant as an early use of steel-framed high-rise construction in Queensland, the Family Services Building is also an accomplished building in design, materials and workmanship, which exhibits particularly fine and inventive detailing, and is important for the aesthetic quality of the sculptural work.
Criterion H The Family Services Building is significant as the major work of later Queensland government architect GG Hutton and for its association with government administration for over seven decades.
History Brisbane's first high-rise government office building was constructed between 1914 and 1922. It was intended partly as general public offices, but more importantly as state headquarters for the enormously successful Queensland Government Savings Bank, established in 1864. Bank headquarters had occupied a purpose-designed banking chamber and offices in the second wing of the Treasury Building from early 1893. By 1912 these premises were no longer adequate. In consequence, the state government decided to construct a separate and substantial building on the opposite corner of George and Elizabeth Streets, as new bank headquarters. George Gerald Hutton, assistant architect in the government architect's office from 1913-22, is credited with the design. It is likely Hutton also designed the sculpture, representing commerce and industry, on the George Street elevation. This and the royal coat of arms on the George-Elizabeth Street corner were carved in 1920 by Sydney sculptor WP MacIntosh, who had carved an allegorical sculpture for the Executive Building (QHR 600123) in 1903-04. The shields of the parapet were carved by local masons under MacIntosh's supervision. Site excavation and the concrete foundations were completed in 1913-14, at a cost of £6,149. In 1914 the contract for the superstructure was let for £113,567, and construction commenced that year. A shortage of structural steel prolonged the work, and completion took close to eight years. Before the building was finished, the Queensland Labor Government transferred the business and assets of the state bank to the Commonwealth Bank, on 8 December 1920. The nearly completed, purpose-designed Queensland state bank headquarters building was then fitted out for the Queensland Government Insurance Office. By 1921 the offices had been renamed the Queensland Government Insurance Building. It was completed and fully occupied by mid-1922, with the SGIO occupying the basement, ground, and first to third floors. Other first occupants included the State Land Tax Office, the State Industrial Arbitration Court, the Public Service Commissioner, the Public Curator and the Main Roads Board. Most of these had removed from cramped quarters in the Treasury Building opposite. Accommodated on the roof was the State Time Station's observing room. From 1925-26 Queensland's first official radio broadcaster, the Queensland Radio Service and station 4QG (Queensland Government), which had been established in July 1925, were located in rooms on the roof of the State Government Insurance Building. This necessitated the installation of large aerials on the roof, which were not removed until after 1945. Both 4QG and the Postmaster General's radio station broadcast from the building during the 1930s. From 1930 to 1932, 4QG was part of Australia's first national radio network, the privately owned Australian Broadcasting Company Ltd. In mid-1932 the licence was transferred to the federal government's newly created Australian Broadcasting Commission. In 1931 the SGIO removed to other premises and the building was occupied principally by the Land and Income Tax Department. Despite income tax being transferred to federal control c.1943, the office block was known as the Taxation Building until 1962. In 1947 the original lift and concrete staircase in the George Street vestibule were removed, and replaced with a pair of lifts. In 1962 the building was occupied by the Co-ordinator-General's Department and renamed the Administration Building. With the new tenancy, the George Street vestibule was refitted and the original lift in the Elizabeth Street vestibule was replaced. From 1963 to 1984 the Health Department was a principal occupant of the Administration Building. Since 1988 the building has been occupied by Family Services, and takes its name from this department. In 1990 the Elizabeth Street vestibule was partly refurbished.
Description The building situated at the corner of George and Elizabeth Streets consists of eight storeys, a basement and rooms on the roof level. The structure, a concrete encased steel frame with brick infill and reinforced concrete floors, is faced on the two street facades with Helidon sandstone sitting on a granite base. The northeast and southeast elevations are constructed of brick with reinforced concrete heads and sills. The building which overlooks Queens Gardens (600112) to the southwest forms part of the group of important government buildings, including the Lands Administration Building (600123), the Treasury Building (600143) and the former State Library (600177), which surround the park. The Elizabeth and George Street facades are divided vertically, by projecting stone cornices, into three parts. These are a podium level consisting of the double height ground floor and the first level of offices, a five storeyed middle section and the top floor of the building surmounted by a parapet wall. At the corners of the street elevations pavilions, distinguished by banded rustication, extend from the ground floor to the parapet. The podium level is also marked by banded rustication. In the centre of the George Street elevation on the podium level is an arched open-bed semicircular pediment supporting a sculpture group that consists of two figures on either side of a shield. The division between the middle and top section of the George Street elevation is embellished by an open-topped semicircular pediment. Steel windows frames and sashes are used throughout the building. Pavement lights are located adjacent to the arched basement windows of the Elizabeth Street elevation. Public entrances are located on the ground floor of the three corner pavilions. The entrance on the corner of George and Elizabeth Streets leads into the former banking chamber. The George Street entrance and the Elizabeth Street entrance give access to the office levels. The Elizabeth street entry opens onto a vestibule which has walls and columns finished in pink, grey and black marble arranged in rectilinear patterns, marble steps, a terrazzo floor and an enriched plaster ceiling, cornice and frieze. The lift enclosure has been paint finished to match the marble walls. The doors leading to the banking chamber have been replaced by a fire door. A fire door at the rear of the vestibule leads to a large square planned reinforced concrete staircase with an ornamental wrought iron balustrade and cedar handrail. The walls above the staircase are lined to dado height with large glazed green tiles. The stairwell, illuminated by a large roof lantern and arched windows, has been converted to a fire isolated exit separated from the office space. A smaller staircase, with similar but less ornate details, is located in the eastern corner of the building and opens onto the banking chamber. The George Street entry vestibule, once identical to the Elizabeth Street vestibule, is fitted with varnished maple panelling, a suspended vermiculite ceiling and two lifts. Original glass and timber doors between the vestibule and the banking chamber are all that remain of the original fittings. Two arched stone doorways on the George and Elizabeth Streets corner lead to a mosaic tiled vestibule with a domed plaster ceiling and a timber panelled screen wall enriched with carving and pilasters. Built into the screen are two sets of timber and glass double doors that open onto the former banking chamber. This grand double height room is now obscured by two levels of offices that have been built into the space. The lower section of the walls is lined with carved timber panelling while the rendered upper section is embellished with delicate plaster detailing. Ionic columns and pilasters support a richly ornamented plaster ceiling. All the office floors, from the first floor to the top floor, are similar. An open plan with large columns is divided by modern office partitioning and suspended ceilings conceal the original ceilings. Heavily reinforced concrete strong rooms and safes are located in the basement with smaller strong rooms on each floor. The lightwell, on the southeast side of the building, contains steel fire escape stairs and steel and concrete walkways. A brick and concrete extension accessed from the walkway has been built into the lightwell and the large windows to the banking chamber and offices have been bricked in. Former photographic rooms, the staircase lantern, toilets, stores, elevator and plant enclosures, are located on the flat roof of the building. The exterior of the building is intact and in the process of being repaired. The interior while apparently much altered retains many original features, both visible and obscured.
St John's Cathedral - Brisbane
St John's Cathedral is the Anglican cathedral of Brisbane and the metropolitan cathedral of the ecclesiastical province of Queensland, Australia. The cathedral is situated on the outskirts of the city centre and is the successor to an earlier pro-cathedral on William Street in the heart of the central business district which was predated by All Saints Wickham Terrace (1862), the oldest Anglican church in Brisbane.
The cathedral is the centre for big diocesan events such as the ordinations of priests and deacons which attract large congregations; a parish church catering for a diverse congregation of worshippers from around the city of Brisbane; a major centre for the arts and music with its own orchestra, the Camerata of St John’s, which holds several concerts in the cathedral each year; and an international centre of pilgrimage attracting over 20,000 visitors annually from around the world.
There is a choir of men and boys who sing the traditional Anglican repertoire as well as more adventurous fare. The cathedral also possesses a four manual pipe organ, the largest cathedral organ in Australia, which hosts many recitalists from across the world: Pearson's design (and stone-vaulting) creates a five-second reverberation making organ-music particularly resonant.
St John's Cathedral is unique in Australia as the completion of the building design was achieved through collaboration between clergy, stonemasons and architects over a period of almost 100 years, as with Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals in the Middle Ages and, more recently, 20th century cathedrals such as Liverpool Cathedral in England, St John the Divine in New York and Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC. It is also the only Victorian Gothic cathedral under construction in Australia.
Diagonally across Ann Street is the much older All Saints' Wickham Terrace, the oldest Anglican church in Brisbane, an Anglo-Catholic church in a diocese not notably liturgical in its orientation.
The cathedral was designed in the Gothic revival style by John Loughborough Pearson, one of England's leading church architects of the late 19th century and bears similarities to Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, also designed by Pearson, although the architecture of St John's is more decidedly French Gothic in inspiration. The external walls are of randomly arranged brown, pink and mauve porphyry stone from the O’Connelltown Quarry in suburban Brisbane, while the interior is primarily dressed sandstone (Helidon freestone) from Helidon near Toowoomba. The granite and basalt used in the foundations and at the base of the columns came from Harcourt and Footscray in Victoria and the sandstone for the window dressings, doorways and arcading came from Pyrmont, New South Wales.
Nave facing liturgical west, St John's Cathedral, Brisbane
The initial architectural impact is achieved via its lofty ceilings, tall, delicately proportioned columns and low level lighting. The architects achieve a layering effect through the masking of external walls via colonnades (a colonnade denotes a long sequence of columns joined by their entablature which is the superstructure of moldings and bands which lies horizontally above the columns) often free-standing. The interior (by Frank Loughborough Pearson) reflects liturgical arrangements favoured by the Oxford movement from the 1840s. The design of the central nave toward the east end was reworked by Frank Pearson (1898–1904). He lengthened the nave and exchanged the lancet windows in the north transept for a wheel window, simplified the details of the east end and omitted much of the cathedral’s internal decoration to meet financial constraints. The north and south aisles, representing a bird’s folded wings, are separated from the nave, or body, by Pearson’s slender piers. The nave terminates at the crossing. The central tower rests on four large piers and is directly above. The north and south transepts (the transverse part of a cruciform church, crossing the nave at right angles) representing outstretched arms are to the left and right and the most sacred part of the cathedral is ahead.
In many respects, the architecture of St John’s resembles the great Cistercian abbey churches of 12th and 13th century Europe. The Cistercian monks believed that church architecture should be simple and utilitarian and also preferably made of stone, relying for its effects upon simple elegance of design, noble proportions and the natural qualities of the materials. This can be seen in St John’s in the atmosphere of the building created by the mass of stone pillars, ceilings and arches, the quality of the sandstone and the basic simplicity of the design and, apart from the west front, minimal ornamentation.
According to Cleary, Pearson’s elevated choir symbolically marks the passage from the secular nave into the higher and more holy choir. Here the clergy are also accommodated in their “elaborately carved” stalls and the archbishop’s throne cathedra (symbolising his authority and pastoral responsibilities) – designed by Pearson resides. Beyond the choir is the presbytery and then the high altar and its surrounding sanctuary. The high altar is a free standing structure with a great Byzantine style stone baldachino (a permanent ornamental canopy, as above a freestanding altar or throne), rather than a reredos, (a screen or a decorated part of the wall behind an altar in a church) supported on columns rising high above it. Beneath the high altar lie the remains of Bishop Webber.
High altar, St John's Cathedral, Brisbane
However, as yet the baldachino has not been constructed. In front of the altar in the sanctuary floor are two pieces of mosaic from the Holy Land, brought back after being uncovered during the First World War by the Australian Light Horse Regiment. One of these is part of the floor of a 6th century synagogue at Jericho. The other is a fragment from the floor of a 6th century Christian church at Gaza and is part of a larger mosaic now housed in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Beyond the high altar the cathedral ends in a semicircular apse and ambulatory (processional aisle), a link to the architecture's French-Norman past.
Many features beyond the crossing including the altar, cross, candle sticks, pulpit, canopy, clergy stalls, pendant lights and litany desk were designed by Frank Pearson. He also designed the carved organ case and the wheel window in the north transept.
Many Brisbane architects were commissioned to design liturgical furniture for the cathedral’s three chapels, the Lady Chapel, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit and the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament.
The initial design called for a galvanised iron roof; this was changed to terracotta roof tiles in 1907. The resolution of unfinished design elements continues to pose challenges.
 History of construction
Back view of St John's Cathedral taken from Adelaide Street, Brisbane ca. 1910
William Webber – the third Bishop of Brisbane and previously a vicar in London – was instrumental in initiating the Brisbane cathedral project. In 1885-86, he commissioned John Loughborough Pearson to make sketch plans for Brisbane cathedral. The Brisbane cathedral movement began in earnest in 1887 as a celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee – St John’s was to be paid for by public subscription but the construction of the cathedral in one campaign was found to be financially impossible. As a result, the building has been executed in three stages over two centuries between 1906 and 2009.
In April 1889, Pearson’s plans for the cathedral were approved for the original site bounded by George, Elizabeth and William Streets.
It was a cruciform church with a wide nave, double aisles, apse and ambulatory, short transepts about halfway along the length of the building and an apsidal side chapel on the north. The west front had towers close to the end of the nave. The upper part of the west wall was supported by a relieving arch, which continued the line of the interior cross arches. The towers had massive buttresses. Their strong vertical lines carried on into corner turrets set before pyramidal spires.
Lady Chapel, to the liturgical north of the quire, St John's Cathedral, Brisbane
John Pearson died in November 1897, two weeks before Webber presented fresh plans to the cathedral chapter. In 1898, Frank Loughborough Pearson (John Pearson's son and partner) was entrusted to carry out his father's design. In 1899, the cathedral chapter approved Pearson’s revised plans only to be forced to reconsider the entire cathedral when the state government bought the original intended site. The present Ann Street site was purchased in late 1899 because it was “…central, commodious and had the natural advantage of being able to make the building erected on it a landmark for miles around.” Frank Loughborough Pearson spent a year reworking his father’s design and, on 22 May 1901, the Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V) laid the foundation stone of the cathedral. In 1903, Bishop William Webber died and in 1904 Frank Pearson submitted his final plans to the cathedral chapter.
Millennium window above west doors, St John's Cathedral, Brisbane
The first stage of construction began in 1906 and took four years to complete. This included the chancel, sanctuary and ambulatory, the quire and its aisles, the transepts and crossing, the Lady Chapel to the liturgical north of the quire, the double aisles and the first bay of the nave. This stage was consecrated in October 1910, but consecration of the full building (like construction) has been achieved in stages. After the Second World War money was raised in the hope of completing the cathedral as a war memorial. In 1947, Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery laid a foundation stone for a further two bays of the nave, but construction ceased after the laying of the foundations until 1965 when the second stage was commenced. Work on the second stage proceeded for a further four years and consisted of the laying of foundations for the extensions, a two bay extension to the nave and demolition and removal of the temporary west wall.
The third stage of construction commenced in 1989 and was completed in 2009 (with the exception of 29 life sized statues on the west front and a set of cloisters on the north side of the cathedral which have yet to be commissioned). The third stage of construction has comprised the erection of the south west porch, the final bay of the nave, the west front, the north and south towers and the central tower. The third stage of construction was overseen by Peter Dare, Master Mason of Exeter Cathedral in England. To ensure enough supply of sandstone for the project, the cathedral authorities purchased a sandstone quarry at Helidon, 100 km from Brisbane where each piece of stone was cut and finished and then trucked to the cathedral site in Ann Street.
The third stage of construction cost A$40 million which was raised by public donations, bequests and grants from the federal, state and local governments.
 Latest construction
The copper clad western spires were lifted into position on 1 March 2008 and blessed by Bishop John Parkes.
The Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall, officially consecrated the completed cathedral on 29 October 2009, attended by about 1500 people, 108 years after the laying of the foundation stone.
 Other buildings
Buildings associated with St John’s include Webber House, Church House, The Deanery (formerly Adelaide House) and St Martin’s House. These buildings provide the traditional experience of only getting the full view of the cathedral when quite close (after having wound one’s way through narrow medieval city streets) thus adding to the impact and feeling of grandeur.
Webber House and Church House were built in 1904 and 1909 respectively. These buildings were designed by Robin Dods (1868-1920) and were designed to conform to Pearson’s concept of St John's Cathedral and its traditional cathedral setting. (The heart design found in many of Dods’ buildings can be seen on the iron gates.) Both are Gothic in overall form and design, having details mainly in the style of Art Nouveau. They have been placed to conceal a view of the cathedral from a northerly approach. The stone used in the Webber house came from the old St John’s Pro-Cathedral in William Street. Webber House was known as School House and housed St John's Primary School until 1941.
The oldest building in the precinct is the deanery, formerly called Adelaide House, built in 1853. From the verandah of this building the first governor, Sir George Bowen, read the proclamation declaring Queensland a separate colony on 10 December 1859. The building then became Queensland’s first government house.
The other more eclectic building with Gothic touches found in the precinct is St Martin’s House, formerly St Martin’s Hospital. It was built as a war memorial after the First World War and is dedicated to St Martin of Tours as 11 November (Remembrance Day) is his feast day. Designed by Lang Powell the design was strongly influenced by the Cathedral and adjacent buildings. This is evident through the choice of building materials, roof forms and architectural motifs. St Martin’s is sited to protect St John’s from noise and visual intrusion from the city and forms a quiet courtyard beside the cathedral. St Martin's shows similarities to the “Red Brick House” designed by Philip Webb for William Morris.
Treasury Building Brisbane