Queensland’s Top Iconic Structures

It’s been a while since I spoke about Queensland’s top 150 icons, but when I last did it was about the top 15 natural attractions in the state.

The sixth category in the series is called structures and engineering feats.

Engineering feats aren’t really my thing, not something I tend to get excited about. But I do remember watching a programme once about Isambard Kingdom Brunel and being slightly awe inspired, so I do get it that some people find this stuff fascinating.

His work on the Great Western Railway was pioneering back in the Victorian times of his achievement and he died in 1859 before he could see the completion of his Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Something you’ll be saying goodbye to if you move to Australia from anywhere in Europe will be that kind of historic architecture. So what has Australia, or more particularly Queensland, got to offer in their list of structures and engineering feats. Let’s take a look at some of the top 15 now and the dates they were constructed.

The oldest are Hornibrook Highway Bridge (1935), Old Museum and St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane (1888/1891), The University of Queensland Great Court (1909ish) Brisbane City Hall (constructed between 1920 and 1930) and at number two, Kuranda Scenic Railway which opened in 1891.

The rest of Queensland’s top engineering structures are more recent. The Gabba was redeveloped in the late 1990s and Q1, still, I believe, the world’s tallest residential building is clearly not old…..

Q1 in Surfers Paradise

Q1 in Surfers Paradise

The Suncorp Stadium has had several refurbishments in recent years, Gateway Bridge was completed in 1985 and at number five, the Sky Rail Rainforest Cable over at Cairns was opened in 1995 and is today one of the state’s top tourist attractions.

At number three is my favourite building in the whole of Queensland. It’s the Castlemaine XXXX building just up the road from me in Milton…….

NOT the XXXX Building

NOT the XXXX Building

The Castlemaine Perkins Milton Brewery was built in 1924 and although I do not have a photograph of it, I do have a photo of one of their cans of beer, shot in the style of the Q1 building. I think it looks bigger.

XXXX bitter has been my beer of choice since arriving here. The particular can you are looking at right now is very likely to be opened in about 30 minutes time. Well, it is Friday.

Queensland’s Number One Structural Engineering Feat.

I’ve already mentioned the number two, so the number one structure and engineering feat in the whole of Queensland is Story Bridge! Opened in 1940 and named after John Douglas Story, a prominent public servant, the Bridge spans the Brisbane River in the city and links Kangaroo Point to Fortitude Valley.

Here it is…..

Story Bridge by Day

Story Bridge by Day

Image Courtesy of digitalreflections
Story Bridge by Night

Story Bridge by Night

Image Courtesy of El Fotopakismo

I guess some of these places have meant nothing to you. Well, keep reading my blog and over time I’ll get around to seeing all of them. And you will too.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Emma October 26, 2009, 5:35 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Stumbled upon your site today and have enjoyed reading about my hometown through the eyes of a Pom 🙂

    Seeing this article on your homepage, I had to click it. Was surprised to not see Old Government House included on the list. Located in the grounds of QUT, next to the Botanic Gardens, it is one of the oldest buildings in Brisbane.

    A refurbishment of the building has just been completed (it was practically in disrepair) and it has a new interactive information centre which has info on the refurb & the history of the building. It’s really lovely. My favourite is the custom designed chandelier in the Great Hall – it’s beautiful. There’s also a coffee shop attached which serves high tea and lamingtons (it is the home of the lamington apparently).

    You should go check it out 🙂

    • BobinOz October 27, 2009, 12:16 am |

      Hi Emma

      I’m not sure why it didn’t make the list either, I know it has a lot of history.

      When we went to Greenfest, we tried to visit Old Government House, but when we got there it was closed. It was supposed to be open according to the programme, but wasn’t. So I didn’t get to see it. But my wife went back the following week to take a look and she did say it was well worth the trip.

      So I know what it looks like from the outside, I’ve seen it from looking over the fence, but just not been in it. But I will. if I am allowed to take pictures inside, I’ll take one of the chandelier in the Great Hall and put it on this blog.



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