Historic Brisbane: Convict Settlement to River City

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 134 pages
Author: S. de Vries & J. de Vries
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9781922109804
Other: b&w & colour photos, sketches, bibliog, index
Publisher: Boolarong Press

Susanna de Vries, award-winning author, and Jake de Vries, for City Architect of Brisbane have pooled their talents to compile a joint book on the building of Brisbane, which transports readers back to the first years of Brisbane's bleak existence.

Susanna's lively text is accompanied by fascinating images, produced by pioneer artists and photographers who visited or lived in Brisbane, while photographs make by Jake de Vries show some of the same scenes today.

The book shows the Convict and Officers' Barracks and convicts digging roads along what became Queen Street and North Quay. Professional artists Corad Martens paints the Customs House and Kangaroo Point. The boo recounts the effects of Brisbane's building boom of the 1880s when everyone borrowed money and major buildings like the Mansions, the old Museum, the second wing of the Post Office and the Treasury are completed. In the Depression years of the 1890s some Queensland banks and architects go broke. A visiting Canadian artist named Lefevre Cranstone draws rural Toowong, the Regatta Hotel and the Toowong Rowing Club. River Road (later Coronation Drive), once used for droving cattle from Brookfield, becomes a thoroughfare for the carriages of the wealthy from Indooroopilly and Milton.

G.H.M. Addison, a telented artist and architect, enraptured by Venetian architecture, designs Brisbane's first Museum and The Mansions on George Street before going bankrupt and so does the equally talented Francis Stanley, architect of the first Supreme Court, the Queensland Club and the Ports and Harbours Building.

While Jake de Vries has used his architectural skills to redraw maps and plans, Susanna provides a fund of fascinating stories about the bridges of Brisbane and their collapses due to marine borers and gloods. The saga of Queensland Government House reveals successive Governors complaining to the Premier that the furniture has to be moved around in order to hold a ball. They also complained how, in unsewered Brisbane, sanitary arrangements were so bad that their children would become ill.

We learn about Brisbane's historic colonial homes like 'Newstead', 'Milton House', 'Silverwells', 'Cintra House', 'Moorlands' and 'Windermere' and reliver the outrage of the midnight destruction of the 'Bellevue Hotel'. We see how the success of Expo '88 changed South Brisbane into the major entertainment area we now all call South Bank. 

Brisbane - A history in pictures
Site plan of convict settlement
The Moreton Bay convict settlement
 - The first stone buildings
 - The Convict Barracks and the Female Factory
 - Commissariat Store and Officers' Quarters
Convicts at Moreton Bay
Wickham Terrace
 - The Windmill and Treadmill
Early views of the convict settlement
 - View from Kangaroo Point
 - View from South Brisbane
 - The first panorama
 - Plan of Brisbane in 1844
 - The Hospital and Surgeon's Cottage
Two colonial houses of the 1840s
 - Newstead House
 - Bulimba House
Three Villages of Old Brisbane Town
 - South Brisbane
 - Kangaroo Point Village, 1845
 - Kangaroo Point expands
Trained artists visit Brisbane Town
 - Conrad Martens
 - Owen Stanley at Moreton Bay
The old and 'new' Customs House
Pioneering the Fortitude Valley
Brisbane's first Exhibition, 1876
Significant buildings of the 1860s and 1870s
 - Parliament House
 - Royal Brisbane Hospital
 - Cintra House
 - The Old Supreme Court
 - The Asylum at Woogaroo
 - General Post Office
Wickham errace
 - Conversion of the windmill
 - 'High Society' on the Terrace
North and South Brisbane
Brisbane views of the 1860s
 - View of Brisbane wharves
 - Hamilton and Bowden Hills
The building boom of the 1880s
 - Brisbane Boys Grammar School
 - Brisbane Girls Grammar School
 - The Queensland Club
 - The Treasury Building
 - The Bellevue Hotel
 - The Former Queensland Museum
 - The Mansions
 - Panorama of Brisbane, 1880
 - Windermere
 - Moorlands
The Governor's Residences
 - Old Government House
 - The saga of Fernberg, Bowden
Early days at Milton and Toowong
 - Mount Coot-tha Road, Toowong
 - Cook Terrace, Milton
 - Milton House, Milton
 - The Regatta Hotel, Toowong
 - River Road (Coronation Drive)
The January 1887 flood
The saga of Brisbane's bridges
 - Brisbane's first wooden bridge
 - Collapse of the wooden bridge
 - The first Victoria bridge
 - Two more Victoria bridges
 - The Indooroopilly bridge
 - Seven more bridges
The Brisbane River and its wharves
Street scenes of the past
 - Boundary Street, Spring Hill
 - Leichhardt Street, Spring Hill
 - North Quay
Rowing Clubs and Regattas
A panoramic view, 1888
South Bank, an enhanced reputation
Queen Street, from Quagmire to Mall
Brisbane's Botanic Gardens
 - The City Botanic Gardens
 - Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
Town Halls, past and present

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Historic Brisbane: Convict Settlement to River City


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