Monday, March 19, 2007

The Clock Tower

This is a picture of an antique lift. It is located within Brisbane City Hall, which is in King George Square, between Adelaide and Ann Streets. City Hall has an imposing Clock Tower, allegedly based on the design of the St Mark's Campanile in Venice, Italy. Imagine my delight when I found out that you could catch a lift on the fully restored antique elevator up to the clock tower, 76 metres above the City Plaza to the observation deck. The tower itself reaches 92 metres. The lift operates from 10:00am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday, and was ideal for a late lunch! Its free as well, although you might have to share the lift with school kids. It is quite unassuming when you walk up there and discover it.

The four clock faces on each side of the tower are the largest in Australia. Each face is made up of 1 tonne of slivered white opal. They are almost 5 metres in diameter, and the minute hands are made of sheet copper at three metres in length. The hour hands are shorter at 1.7 metres. The chimes are Westminster containing 5 bells. The chime bells weight 3 tonnes each, and the hour bell weights 4.3 tonnes.

Up until 1973 the clock tower was the tallest structure in Brisbane. It was in the late 1960's that they relaxed the laws relating to height restrictions for CBD buildings, and since then the views have largely been built out. This shot aims towards the Southbank area, with Stefan's Skyneedle (the Expo Sky Needle) in the distance. Imagine the view from here in the 1970's or earlier as Brisbane was coming of age.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

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