Queen Street and Edward Street façades
|Former names||A.M.P Building, MacArthur Chambers|
|Type||Apartments and commercial|
|Architectural style||English Renaissance|
|Address||229 Queen Street (corner of Edward Street), Brisbane central business district|
|Structural system||Steel and concrete|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Francis B. Hall and H.M. Cook|
MacArthur Central is an English Renaissance styled heritage-listed building located at 229 Queen Street, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, that is, on the north-east corner of Queen Street and Edward Street. It is notable for its wartime association with General Douglas MacArthur, who used the building as the Allied forces' South West Pacific Area Headquarters from July 1942 to November 1944.
A feature of the building (and until recently of all buildings owned by the AMP Society) is a three figure statue above the portico entrance of the Queen Street façade of the building, sculptured in Sicilian marble by Fred Gowan, representing: "Strength, Plenty, Production and Growth".
- "AMICUS CERTUS IN RE INCERTA" -- or in English:
- "A SURE FRIEND IN UNCERTAIN TIMES"
The current building was constructed between 1930 and 1934 and with the exception of the war years was the Queensland headquarters of the AMP Society until 1977 when that organisation moved to new premises in Creek Street. The AMP Society has subsequently demutualised, becoming a company known as AMP Limited.
It was on the eighth floor, the location of the AMP Society's Board Room that became General Douglas MacArthur's office. By military order tenants from the second to ninth floors were compulsorily evacuated for the Hiring Department of the Defence Forces.
The 10 storeyed building replaced a smaller 3 storey building also owned by the AMP Society which had been constructed in the 1890s. It also featured the "trademark" AMP Society three figure statue. After the AMP Society vacated the building, which then became known as the MacArthur Chambers, it continued to be leased for office accommodation, boutique hotel, and small shops on the ground and basement floors.
The building and sites adjacent to the building were subsequently redeveloped in the 1990s. Today the building, which is now called MacArthur Central, is part of an apartment and modern commercial shopping complex, which includes the Shingle Inn franchise and other restaurants, a medical centre, pharmacy, newsagency, Australia's first inner-city Big W discount department store, as well as Woolworths and approximately 40 specialty stores.
At 10 AM on 17 January 2014, Apple Inc. opened its first Brisbane retail store within a heritage building in the MacArthur Chambers Building. The showroom consists of the Ground Floor of MacArthur Chambers, with Apple also using the Basement and Mezzanine levels for other purposes. The project took approximately 6 years to complete, costing a total $28.4 million. Apple restored many features of the large space to their original state, including the front mosaic, some railings on the mezzanine level and the placement of the mezzanine in the store. The stone tiles lining the floor originate from Portugal.
The MacArthur Museum (to commemorate General MacArthur's association with Brisbane), was opened by members of the General Douglas MacArthur Brisbane Memorial Trust in 2004. Visitors are able to visit General Douglas MacArthur's office. Also on display is movie footage of the Second World War and all the front pages of "The Courier-Mail" from September, 1939 to August, 1945.
The entrance to both the museum and the MacArthur Chambers Hotel are on Edward Street. The Museum is open 10am to 3pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. A notice (featured at right) about the MacArthur Museum is placed at the Edward Street entrance to the hotel and museum at the MacArthur Central building, on the days the MacArthur Museum is open to the public.
- General Headquarters (GHQ), South West Pacific Area, Queen Street, Brisbane — ABC
- MacArthur's war chambers, Brisbane retrieved 15 January 2007
- American Headquarters during World War II
- Readshaw, Grahame; Ronald Wood (1987). Looking up looking back at old Brisbane. Bowen Hills, Queensland: Boolarong Publications. p. 19. ISBN 0-86439-032-7.
- Hogan, Janet (1982). Living History of Brisbane. Spring Hill, Queensland: Boolarong Publications. p. 113. ISBN 0-908175-41-8.
- MacArthur Museum Brisbane – MacArthur Central building in Brisbane
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