Old Museum Building - 125th anniversary
By JOL Admin | 30 April 2016
The Old Museum Building situated in the inner-city suburb of Bowen Hills in Brisbane has enjoyed an eventful history since it was built in 1891. It initially served as the Exhibition Building, replacing the previous structure which was destroyed by fire in 1888.
The laying of the foundation stone ceremony took place at the site on April 25, 1891. Acting Governor of Queensland, Sir Arthur Hunter Palmer was given the honour of laying the foundation stone in front of a large crowd. A bottle containing a copy of each of the leading Brisbane journals was placed in the cavity beneath the foundation stone.
State Library of Queensland holds an original souvenir card produced for the ceremony, which features two sketches of the proposed building. The Brisbane Courier mentions the production of the souvenir prior to the ceremony - "A neat illustrated souvenir of the foundation ceremony has been prepared, giving an excellent representation of the finished building".
Construction of the building was completed in August of the same year. Prior to completion a large souvenir linen handkerchief was produced with a sketch of the building. This handkerchief has been digitised by State Library of Queensland and can be viewed online.
The Queensland Museum later occupied the building from 1899 to 1986, before moving to South Bank. Queensland Youth Orchestras currently calls the Old Museum home.
In 1992 the Old Museum Building was heritage-listed. A detailed history of the building is available on the Queensland Heritage Register website.
- Old Museum Building conservation management plan by Peter Marquis-Kyle, heritage consultant
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