This landmark building with its distinctive Byzantine style turrets was designed by GHM Addison and built in 1891 as Brisbane’s first Exhibition Building, on what was then part of the acclimatisation gardens that occupied a large tract of land there. The glazed bricks were made locally by James Campbell and roofing imported from England.
Part of its interior was dedicated to a concert hall in which Dame Nellie Melba performed on a few occasions and which still hosts performances today, its auditorium largely unchanged from Nellie’s day.
In 1900 the Queensland Museum moved in from its William St building and remained until 1987 when it moved to its current location at South Bank. The great hulk of the Australian-captured German World War I tank Mephisto (the sole survivor of only 20 such tanks that were made) occupied the front lawn of the museum from 1919, luring a generation of young museum goers inside. Today Mephisto is still part of the museum’s collection but lives encased in glass down in the Dinosaur Garden.