Monday, June 4, 2007

The Mansions

The Mansions
The Mansions are a row of six attached houses which were built in 1889. The first tenants were three doctors who set up practice early in 1890 and included Dr Lilian Cooper, the first female doctor in Queensland. It was also used by Queensland parliamentarians, including the then premier Boyd Dunlop Morehead. In the following years the various houses were used as private residences, a day school, consulting rooms and boarding houses before falling into government hands as offices. In 1982 the building was refurbished to accommodate shops and a restaurant on the ground floors and offices on the upper levels.

The Mansions
Given its age, the style is a Victorian version of Italian Classical architecture. With predominantly red brickwork, each attached house is three stories in height. Designed by architect G.H.M. Addison it is an example of the prestigious housing of the late 19th century. This was where the elite of Queensland society of the time lived, offering views over the township and the river from one of the highest points in the city. The interiors have been significantly renovated over time, with very little of the original interior architecture remaining.

The MansionsI love how at each of the main corners of the building facing George Street, two cats are perched overlooking the streetscape. These are similar to Gargoyles, however these serve as sculpture providing what appears to be an ornamental or artistic function. I wonder if these were placed here to scare off evil spirits and used for some level of spiritual protection. They looked quite determined with their ever vigilant eyes on those who pass by underneath.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

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Little Miss Moi said...

Dear wes. There's been a restaurant in there for ages but I've never been. Top notch though, apparently - have you eaten there?

Wes said...

No I haven't been there as yet, but its another place waiting for me to enjoy!
Cheers, Wes.

Jodi said...

Those mansions are very beautiful.

P@T said...

The cat looks very similar to the chinese Fo Dogs, which take their name from the Chinese term for Buddhism, fojiao, but are also known as ‘Fu Lions’. They are typically in pairs, the male with one paw on a ball and the female with one foot on cub lying on it back. The male symbolizes power and the female family. It would appear the architect had oriental connections.