Designed and constructed circa 1924 these art deco style commercial premises contained shops and the office of notable designer/builder Walter Taylor. Taylor is most famously associated with the nearby Walter Taylor Bridge but between 1912 and his death in 1955, Walter Taylor was involved in a number of visionary projects, often involving concrete as the major construction material. The stylish interwar “Central Buildings” contribute to the streetscape of Honour Avenue and Graceville’s commercial area.
Local Heritage Place Since —
Date of Citation —
Roof: Corrugated iron; Walls
Walter Taylor (Architect); Walter Taylor (Builder)
Criterion for listing
(A) Historical;(D) Representative;(E) Aesthetic;(H) Historical association
Walter Taylor was born in Sheffield England in 1872. His family had emigrated to Australia when he was ten years old. Walter worked for the railways in Queensland until 1902 when he returned to England to market some inventions. He returned to Australia in 1912, having spent much of his time overseas studying methods of reinforced concrete construction.
In Queensland, Walter undertook construction contracts with many leading architects, building such structures as Trittons furniture warehouse at North Quay; Brisbane Newspaper Company bulk stores at William and Margaret Streets; warehouse and offices for Hooper & Harrison Ltd, G Smith Esq, Hoey Fry Ltd, and Gordon and Gotch. He also built the nine story Craigston Flats in Wickham Street; No 2 Block and the Nurses Quarters at the Brisbane General Hospital; RSL Club in Elizabeth Street; Tristram’s Aerated Water Factory at South Brisbane; and the Breakfast Creek bridge, Albion.
In his local district he constructed two residences on Austral Ave, the Central Buildings at 327 Honour Ave (which contained shops and his own office), the shop and residence at 335 Honour Ave, and a bulk store for his prefabricated concrete blocks at 11 Rakeevan Rd. He also designed and built the Graceville Methodist Church, and two homes for himself, at 15 Molonga Tce and 95 Banks rd.
He is probably best known for the 1936 Walter Taylor suspension bridge which crosses the Brisbane River at Chelmer, which he both designed and constructed. Taylor was heavily involved in the administration of the Methodist Church in Queensland for almost fifty years, and also in community work. He was president of the Graceville Progress Association and the Indooroopilly-Chelmer Centenary Memorial Bridge League. An inventor, designer and builder, Taylor was also an accomplished bookbinder, exhibiting in Brisbane in 1924 in conjunction with Lloyd Rees.
Walter Taylor realised the growth and commercial potential of the Graceville-Sherwood area during the interwar period and constructed these substantial shops to cater for local clientele.
Located on the corner of Honour Avenue and Rakeevan Street this single story structure is constructed of concrete with a verandah extending across the pavement on both street frontages. The structure was originally constructed to operate as six shops.
A parapet extends along both street frontages providing an imposing stance. The parapet is influenced by art deco styling and the words “Central Buildings” appear along the parapet on the Honour Avenue side. The structure is of a greater size than just a local corner store.
The concrete fence that bounds the property along Rakeevan Street compliments the style of the shops and adds to the street presentation of this structure.
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:
The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the city's or local area’s history
as part the local commercial development in the Graceville area.
The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class or classes of cultural places
as a larger suburban interwar commercial premises.
The place is important because of its aesthetic significance
as an art deco influenced larger suburban commercial premises.
The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organization of importance in the city’s or local area’s history
as commercial premises designed and constructed by notable local builder/designer Walter Taylor and contained his own office.
Certificates of Title.
Walter Taylor South Character and Heritage Study, BCC Heritage Unit, 1997
Brisbane City Council Department of Works Building Registers 1925-1945
National Library Australia. Trove. Digitalised newspapers online