Addresses

At 36 Oxford Street, Woolloongabba, Queensland 4102

Type of place

Club house, Hall

Period

Federation 1890-1914

Style

Carpenter Gothic

This is an image of the local heritage place known as OES Hall

OES Hall

OES Hall Download Citation (pdf, 519.56 KB)

Addresses

At 36 Oxford Street, Woolloongabba, Queensland 4102

Type of place

Club house, Hall

Period

Federation 1890-1914

Style

Carpenter Gothic

This timber and tin hall had the first purpose-built athletic clubrooms in Australia when the Thompson Estate Harriers’ Amateur Athletic Club opened it in 1909. It demonstrates the pattern of development in the Annerley-Woolloongabba area, then known as the Thompson Estate, and is a typical example of an early twentieth century Federation Carpenter Gothic style building.

Also known as

Harriers Hall

Lot plan

L2_RP73888

Key dates

Local Heritage Place Since —

Date of Citation —

Construction

Roof: Corrugated iron;
Walls: Timber

People/associations

Thompson Estate Harriers? Amateur Athletic Club (Association)

Criterion for listing

(A) Historical; (D) Representative; (G) Social

Interactive mapping

City Plan Interactive Mapping

Also known as

Harriers Hall

Lot plan

L2_RP73888

Key dates

Local Heritage Place Since —

Date of Citation —

Construction

Roof: Corrugated iron;
Walls: Timber

People/associations

Thompson Estate Harriers? Amateur Athletic Club (Association)

Criterion for listing

(A) Historical; (D) Representative; (G) Social

Interactive mapping

City Plan Interactive Mapping

History

The OES Hall, originally named Harriers Hall was built in 1909. It is a timber and tin building with decorative projecting gables and bargeboards.

Joseph Thompson purchased the original land parcel of 34 acres from the New South Wales government in 1856 for £34. Although Thompson purchased over 200 acres in the area at this time it was not until the 1860s that settlement commenced in the area. By the mid-1860s dairy farming and land cultivation were established. 

In 1865 Thompson sold a total of 74 acres 3 roods to James Gibbon. Gibbon, owner of ‘Teneriffe’, was a property speculator and later Member of the Queensland Legislative Council. He in turn sold 69 acres 2 roods 15 7/10 perches to architect James Cowlishaw in 1885. Resident in Brisbane from 1860, Cowlishaw was a shrewd and successful businessman who speculated in land and property and quickly amassed great wealth. He subdivided this land as small suburban lots of predominantly 
16 perches, which he sold during the 1880s Brisbane land boom, as section 1 of the Thompson Estate. 

The 16 perch block on which the Hall was built was purchased by Grainger Ward in 1884 and later sold in 1889 to Mark James. Estates such as Thompson Estate, Riverview Estate and Ivanhoe Estate, all in close proximity to the Ipswich road, experienced strong sales during the 1880s and 1890s. Horse trams began serving Brisbane in 1885, running from the city as far as Woolloongabba. The system was electrified from 1897 and then rapidly expanded. The first section of the Ipswich road tramline was opened in 1899 enhancing the area as a residential location. The spread of urbanisation in the area continued after the Ipswich road tramline was extended in 1915 to Yeronga Park. Gas was listed as being available to a large proportion of the shire and electricity to all settled portions of the area. 

Mark James was not resident in Oxford Street until 1909, and probably not on this block. Transfer of the land from him to trustees had occurred in 1908 and in 1910 Harriers Hall was first listed in the Queensland Post Office Directory with Mark James resident close by. 

The Thompson Estate Harriers’ Amateur Athletic Club was established in 1900 by interested men of the district of Thompson Estate, Junction Park, Annerley, Stones Corner, Coorparoo and Woolloongabba. This club’s establishment reflected the growth of amateur athletics competition in Queensland and other colonies. The sport appealed to all classes of people as it did not require overly expensive or specialised equipment, and talent was the most important factor in success. By 1900 there were 13 clubs affiliated with the Queensland Amateur Athletics Association. Thompson Estate Harriers’ Amateur Athletic Club remained a well-known local organisation in Brisbane throughout the first half of the twentieth century and the club continues today as the Thompson Estate Eastern Suburbs Athletic Club. 

From 1900 until 1909 club members met at the Junction Park State School, Annerley. In 1909 the club became the first athletics club in Australia to have its own clubrooms when the Thompson Estate Harriers Hall was opened on the corner of Oxford and Junction Streets, Stones Corner. The hall was designed to cater for the interests and activities of the growing group of men who saw the necessity for such a venue.  The Harriers Hall was used for club activities, both social and athletic. Social activities included regular dances that were for many years a source of funds for the club. Other occasional activities such as presentation nights, smoko nights to celebrate the winning of Premierships, and farewells to club members were held in the hall.  The hall was used for athletic pursuits, including some training with gym equipment, boxing, table tennis and indoor games. Community groups also regularly hired the building for Lodge and Ladies Club meetings.  Individuals used the hall for functions such as weddings and dinners.

The hall was sold in 1939 when the Hall required substantial improvements and repairs that the club was unable to afford. 

Despite its sale in 1939, the hall was still known as the Harriers Hall in the 1950s. The current owners are the Order of the Eastern Star (OES), after which the building is now named. This organisation is linked to the Masonic Lodge and involved in raising money for donation to charitable causes.

Description

The hall is an early twentieth century timber-clad structure with tin roof built on stumps.  It has a steeply pitched gabled roof with decorative projecting gable and bargeboards, plus finials, in the Federation Carpenter Gothic style. The building is rectangular in plan form with an attached entry porch on the southern front. A later extension for amenities was added on the Junction Street frontage.

Statement of significance

Relevant assessment criteria

This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:




References

  1. BCC Water Supply and Sewerage detail plans, building cards

  2. BRISbites. Newstead Landmarks

  3. Cave, Douglas. Thompson Estate Eastern Suburbs Athletic Club 100 Years, 1900-2000: A History of Thompson Estate Eastern Suburbs Athletic Club 1900-2000

  4. Brisbane: TEES Athletic Club, 2000

  5. Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland Certificates of Title

  6. McKellar's Map of Brisbane and Suburbs. Brisbane: Surveyor-General’s Office, 1895

  7. Queensland Post Office Directories

  8. Ramsay, Ken. ‘Urban Development and Houses in Annerley’ in The Annals of Annerley, RHSQ, 1997

  9. Stephens District Character and Heritage Study. Heritage Unit, Brisbane City Council, 1995

  10. Watson, Donald and McKay, Judith. Queensland Architects of the Nineteenth Century: A Biographical Dictionary. Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1995


Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)

Federation 1890-1914
Carpenter Gothic
Club house
Hall
At 36 Oxford Street, Woolloongabba, Queensland 4102
At 36 Oxford Street, Woolloongabba, Queensland 4102 L2_RP73888
Historical, Representative, Social