Built in 1923 on the site of notorious confessed murderer Patrick Mayne’s butcher shop, the Brisbane Arcade is a splendid Edwardian baroque alley of gallery shops. Patrick’s son Dr James Mayne employed the son of 19th century architectural guru Richard Gailey, Richard Gailey Jnr to design it as a legacy to the people of Brisbane – a gesture that many believe was an atonement to the alleged sins of his father.
As part of the Mayne trust the arcade is heritage listed and although alterations have occurred, especially on the ground floor, the arcade retains much of its 1920s glamour.
During World War II the lower floor contained a bomb shelter which in the 1950s was converted to an art gallery by renowned gallery owners Brian and Marjorie Johnstone, whose stable of artists included Sidney Nolan, Grace Cossington Smith, Margaret Olley and Laurence Hope.
Today the many gallery shops, including the Tea Centre, Keri Craig Emporium, the elegant gallery café Room with Roses, a landscape photographer and an antique map room are in keeping with the refined ambience of the arcade.