The Mansions, Brisbane

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The Mansions
Margaret Street façade of the Mansions.
General information
Type Residential, commercial
Architectural style Victorian architecture
Location Brisbane, Queensland
Address 40 George Street, Brisbane[1]
Coordinates 27°28′28″S 153°01′36″E / 27.474413°S 153.02659°E / -27.474413; 153.02659Coordinates: 27°28′28″S 153°01′36″E / 27.474413°S 153.02659°E / -27.474413; 153.02659
Completed 1889
Cost £11,700[1]
Technical details
Structural system Brick and stone
Floor count 3
Design and construction
Architect G.H.M. Addison[2]
Main contractor RE Burton[1]

The Mansions is a row of six terrace houses located on the corner of George Street and Margaret Street in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[1][3] The architectural style is Victorian with Italianate influences.


The Mansions were designed by G.H.M. Addison, and constructed by RE Burton in 1889 at a cost of £11,700.[1] The project was a joint investment by three Queensland politicians; Boyd Dunlop Morehead (Premier), William Pattison (Treasurer) and John Stevenson (Member for Clermont).[1]

An early resident of the Mansions was Dr. Lilian Violet Cooper, who was Queensland's first female doctor and Australia's first female surgeon. After World War I the building became a rooming house.[2]

The building was offered at public auction in 1954, but after failing to reach its reserve was sold to the Government of Queensland in the same year.[4] The purchase formed part of a larger string of acquisitions by the government (officially known as the 'George Street Plan') which were intended to address a shortage of space for administrative offices in Brisbane City.[1] The building was subsequently refurbished at a cost of £45,054 in order to prepare it for use as government offices. The building was occupied by numerous departments including the Government Statistician's Office, Licensing Commission and the Department of Public Works.[1]

The Mansions were scheduled for demolition in 1974 as part of the government's 'George Street Masterplan', however this plan was delayed, and a schedule adopted by Cabinet in 1979 recommended leaving the majority of the building intact, with the exception of the servants' wings and stables (which were demolished later that year).[1][5] Refurbishment plans for the building were prepared by Lund Hutton Ryan Architects in 1980, with further plans completed by Conrad & Gargett and the Department of Public Works in 1982.[1] The final renovation plan was carried out in 1984, with most of the 1950s refit removed while features including an elevator and air-conditioning plant were added.[1]

In 2002, the Mansions were featured in a television advertisement for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, which starred Steve Irwin.


The building is significant because few terrace houses were ever built in Brisbane and even fewer remain intact today. They were built during the Victorian era in 1889 for residential use. The classic Italian design was created by G.H.M Addison using plain red bricks.[2] The white details and cat sculptures on the building's parapet were rendered in Oamaru limestone imported from New Zealand.[6]

Arcades were used to provide shade without blocking ventilation.[6]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "The Mansions (entry 600119)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Readshaw, Grahame; Ronald Wood (1987). Looking up looking back at old Brisbane. Bowen Hills, Queensland: Boolarong Publications. p. 26. ISBN 0-86439-032-7. 
  3. ^ Brisbane's Living Heritage Network (2009). "The Mansions". Brisbane's Living Heritage Network. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Australian Terrace Houses (2009). "The Mansions: 40 George Street, Brisbane. Queensland". Australian Terrace Houses. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Cabinet Minute" (PDF). Brisbane: Queensland State Archives. 19 March 1979. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Gregory, Helen; Dianne Mclay (2010). Building Brisbane's History: Structure, Sculptures, Stories and Secrets. Warriewood, New South Wales: Woodslane Press. p. 4. ISBN 9781921606199. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to The Mansions at Wikimedia Commons