Brisbane Arcade

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Brisbane Arcade
Queen Street Mall entrance of Brisbane Arcade.
Location Queen Street Mall
Coordinates 27°28′08″S 153°01′31″E / 27.468942°S 153.025331°E / -27.468942; 153.025331Coordinates: 27°28′08″S 153°01′31″E / 27.468942°S 153.025331°E / -27.468942; 153.025331
Address 160 Queen Street Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Opening date October 1923
Architect Richard Gailey, Jr.
No. of stores and services 50[1]

Brisbane Arcade is a heritage-listed shopping arcade located at 160 Queen Street and runs from Queen Street (now part of Queen Street Mall) and Adelaide Street in the city of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Brisbane Arcade was built in 1923 for Dr James Mayne, and his sister Mary Emelia Mayne. It was designed by Richard Gailey, Junior (the son of architect Richard Gailey),[2] and constructed at a cost of £70,000, with the Queen Street section built by J. & E.L. Rees, and the Adelaide Street section completed by Forsyth and Speering.[3][4] Construction was completed in the same year and the arcade was subsequently opened in 1924.[5]

Since the deaths of James Mayne in 1939, and Mary Mayne in 1940, Brisbane Arcade has been operated by a board of trustees acting on behalf of their estates, with operating proceeds benefiting the University of Queensland School of Medicine.[4][6][7] McGees Property manages the arcade on behalf of the board of trustees.[7][8]

On 5 February 1952, the Johnstone Gallery was opened in a former bomb shelter under Brisbane Arcade, where it remained until closing on 19 December 1957 in order to relocate to Bowen Hills.[9]

Brisbane Arcade was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.[4]



Brisbane Arcade has two frontages; one on the Queen Street Mall, and one on Adelaide Street. Both facades are three-storeys high and five window bays across, have central entrances, feature the name 'Brisbane Arcade' in raised lettering, are of face brickwork with cement dressings, and use plain classical details.[4]

The Queen Street Mall facade has triangular classical pediments at parapet level above each end window bay.[4] These end bays are separated by flanking brick pilasters, and have cantilevered balconies on both levels with wrought iron railings consisting of vertical balustrading.[4] The openings contain timber framed multi-paned windows and French doors which open onto the balconies.[4] Ornate floral mouldings are situated on the pilasters to either side of the upper level openings.[4] A deep bracketed cornice runs between the base of the pediments separating the parapet from the remainder of the facade.[4] The parapet has raised sections at each end and in the centre.[4]

The Adelaide Street facade has a similar arrangement of openings, but has arched windows in the end bays of the top floor with keystones that extend to the cornice line.[4] A similar cornice occurs above all the other window openings as sun hoods.[4] Cantilevered balconies occur only on the first floor level at each end and in the centre.[4] These have wrought iron railings with diagonal balustrading.[4]

The roof structure above the arcade consists of lightweight exposed steel trusses, and natural light is allowed into the space through clerestory windows on each side.[4]


Although both frontages of the building are three-storied, this three-storey section extends only part of the way into the building from either end, and is linked by the two storey arcade.[4] The central space has a void running the length of the arcade, crossed by a central walkway leading to the galleries on each side.[4] The upper level is accessed by stairs at each end which retain their original terrazzo finishes.[4] The arcade features art work from the hosting of Brisbane's World Expo '88, namely, "Mirage" by Swiss-Israeli artist Gidon Graetz.



  1. ^ "Directory". Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Brisbane Arcade". Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Brisbane Buildings". The Brisbane Courier (National Library of Australia). 13 November 1923. p. 17. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Brisbane Arcade (entry 600058)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  5. ^ McGees Property. "Stunning Heritage Brisbane Arcade". McGees Property. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "History". Brisbane Arcade. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Brisbane Arcade turns 85". Brisbane Marketing Pty Ltd. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Calligeros, Marissa (19 October 2012). "Former chocolate shop a sweet vacancy". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Martin-Chew, Louise. "Johnstone, Brian William Wallace (1920–1988)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 

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