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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

Archerfield Airport helps tell Brisbane’s aviation story

Case Study

AHS helps to preserve Kangaroo Point heritage home – Brisbane

Case Study

AHS displays multidisciplinary expertise at Naldham House – Brisbane

Case Study

Evocative details at Boolboonda State Primary School – Bundaberg

Case Study

Adaptive reuse of Goldsworthy and Perkins Boot Factory – Brisbane

Case Study

AHS working with Traditional Owners – The Spit

Case Study

Celebrating the Walter Hill Fountain – Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Case Study

Layers of paint reveal hidden histories

Case Study

Conservation of Wyllie Park Roadside Rest Area – Petrie

Case Study

A glimpse of Brisbane’s fasinating past – Birkdale Community Precinct

Case Study

Cairns Courthouse Project

Case Study

Bunya to the Bay Educational Project

Case Study

Restoration of Archer Park Rail Museum – Rockhampton

Case Study

Revitalisation of Mount Carmel Centre – Wynnum

Case Study

AHS projects span the country

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AHS protecting final resting places around Australia

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AHS is on the case for Cairns Court House project

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