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Conserving Brisbane’s iconic Old Museum Building


Designed by architect GMH Addison

The Old Museum Building (OMB) at Bowen Hills is a jewel in Brisbane’s architectural crown and one of the most high-profile heritage buildings to be found anywhere in Queensland.

Designed by architect GMH Addison and constructed in 1891, the OMB is a State Heritage Place that was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992.

In 2009 the building was officially recognised as one of the Icons of Queensland during the Q150 celebrations.

Preserving such a significant site for future generations is of prime importance and presents a range of ongoing conservation challenges given the building’s age and grand scale.

AHS was invited to undertake a new Heritage Report for the OMB. The previous Conservation Management Plan dates back to 2000 while the Old Museum Gardens Conservation Study was completed in 1998.

Federation Romanesque architectural style

The OMB represents the peak of Brisbane’s 1880s building boom and is one of the most substantial public works constructed during this period, celebrating the spirit of nineteenth century scientific, industrial and agricultural innovation.

Its size epitomises the civic and public enthusiasm for exhibitions that existed at that time, while the Federation Romanesque architectural style employed by GMH Addison is unique in Brisbane. His use of polychrome brick in contrasting bands is an outstanding decorative feature which is instantly recognisable to many Brisbane residents.

As a symbol of the Queensland Museum for more than 80 years, the building demonstrates the evolution and development of the public museum. The Concert Hall has played an important role in the artistic life of Queensland and is significant for its constant use for cultural purposes which continues today.

The OMB has even greater importance because there are only two exhibition buildings built in Australia during the nineteenth century that are still standing, the other being in Melbourne.

Undated image showing display cases within the top floor (Queensland Youth Orchestra)


The peak of Brisbane’s 1880s building boom

Our work at OMB included a thorough review of the existing heritage conservation management reports to ensure that maintenance and conservation initiatives are continued in accordance with industry best practice.

Our new report reflects the OMB’s current and future restoration and design needs

AHS is proud to contribute to the ongoing conservation of this Queensland heritage icon, signifying our position as Australia’s leading cultural heritage consultancy.

Early 1900s postcard showing eastern entrance (Peter Marquis-Kyle)


Contact us

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

 

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The Challenge

The OMB represents the peak of Brisbane’s 1880s building boom and is one of the most substantial public works constructed during this period, celebrating the spirit of nineteenth century scientific, industrial and agricultural innovation.

Its size epitomises the civic and public enthusiasm for exhibitions that existed at that time, while the Federation Romanesque architectural style employed by GMH Addison is unique in Brisbane. His use of polychrome brick in contrasting bands is an outstanding decorative feature which is instantly recognisable to many Brisbane residents.

As a symbol of the Queensland Museum for more than 80 years, the building demonstrates the evolution and development of the public museum. The Concert Hall has played an important role in the artistic life of Queensland and is significant for its constant use for cultural purposes which continues today.

The OMB has even greater importance because there are only two exhibition buildings built in Australia during the nineteenth century that are still standing, the other being in Melbourne.



How we helped

Our work at OMB included a thorough review of the existing heritage conservation management reports to ensure that maintenance and conservation initiatives are continued in accordance with industry best practice.

Our new report reflects the OMB’s current and future restoration and design needs

AHS is proud to contribute to the ongoing conservation of this Queensland heritage icon, signifying our position as Australia’s leading cultural heritage consultancy.

Results

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

 

You might also like to read:

Case Study

AHS protects Aboriginal Cultural Heritage across renewable energy sector

Case Study

AHS analyses iconic Queens Plaza façade

Case Study

History of Wynnum Seventh Day Adventist Church unlocked

Case Study

Extensive war history unearthed at Milman Hill Complex on Thursday Island

Case Study

AHS ensures cultural preservation of the Mt Coot-tha Kiosk and Lookout, unearthing a rich history at one of Brisbane’s premiere vantage points

Case Study

AHS helps to record and conserve Bega’s network of historic granite kerbs and gutters for our client Bega Valley Shire Council

Case Study

AHS delivered a Conservation Management Plan for the State heritage listed former Cairns Masonic Temple

Case Study

Delivering heritage services including an Archival Recording at the Coffs Harbour Forestry Building

Case Study

Conserving Willard’s Farm, one of the oldest surviving farms and residences within the Redlands on Brisbane’s Bayside

Case Study

AHS projects with Cairns Regional Council include a CMP for Mulgrave Shire Council Chambers

Case Study

AHS uncovers a lengthy historical legal challenge while researching the William Mitchner Shelter

Case Study

AHS helps visitors experience the history of Cairns Court House

Case Study

AHS helps to conserve the Mount Morgan Coronation Lamp and Boer War Memorial

Case Study

Discovering the evolution of Queensland ambulance services at Charters Towers

Case Study

AHS helps preserve one of Buderim Mountain’s oldest surviving houses

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Rediscovering a heritage home’s socialite past in New Farm

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Contact Australian Heritage Specialists for a free consultation for your project from one of our award-winning consultants.