Brisbane Arcade

The Brisbane Arcade is celebrating 95 years as Brisbane’s oldest and grandest shopping arcade, from 1924-2019.

Brisbane Arcade walkway

95 years celebration sign in Brisbane Arcade. Photographer Tania Schafer

In celebration Brisbane Arcade presented the Spring Flower Show “Jewel in the Crown” between Saturday 31 August to Friday 6 September 2019, which included a lovely assortment of flowers from Redlands, Victoria, New South Wales and further afield from Columbia, Singapore and Vietnam.

This flowery display consisted of 20,000 stems and buds throughout the Arcade, with shops participating through presenting floral displays in their windows.

Brisbane Arcade flower display

95 Years celebrations of the Brisbane Arcade. Photographer Tania Schafer.

Brisbane Arcade stores

Second level of the Brisbane Arcade looking down on walkway Photographer Tania Schafer.

Brisbane Arcade History

Brisbane Arcade was developed by Dr James Mayne and his sister Miss Mary Emelia Mayne.

The Mayne’s engaged Brisbane born architect Richard Gailey (Junior) 1873-1954 to create a traditional 18th Century European looking arcade, accessible between 160 Queen Street through to 117 Adelaide Street in the Brisbane Central Business District. The Arcade was built by Messrs J. and E.L. Rees at a cost close upon £70,000. On 21 October 1992 Brisbane Arcade was heritage listed.

As neither Mayne sibling had children, a Trust was establish with proceeds from the Arcade going to benefit medical research, which continues today.

Past notable stores include the Johnstone Gallery, which was owned by Brian and Marjorie Johnstone, who collected Australian and overseas art. The Johnstone Gallery was located in the Brisbane Arcade basement from February 1952 until December 1957. State Library holds the Johnstone Gallery Archive.

Johnstone Gallery at Brisbane Arcade

Interior of the Johnstone Gallery at the Brisbane Arcade, Queensland, ca. 1955. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 27642-1186-0001

Another delightful store was the  ‘G. E. Adams. Rich Cake Specialist’.

Brisbane Arcade cake shop 1938

Front display window of G. E. Adams’ cake shop, Brisbane Arcade, Brisbane, ca, 1938. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 52161

Brisbane Arcade cake shop 1938

George E. Adams’ cake shop, Brisbane Arcade, Brisbane, ca. 1938. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 52150

G. E. Adams may be gone, but cake can still be purchased at the cafes within the Arcade, including at long term tenant Room with Roses.

Brisbane Arcade Cafe

Room with Roses Cafe. Photographer Tania Schafer.

References