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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > About us > Our history > 1986


On 28 April 1986, the then Premier and Treasurer of Queensland the Honourable Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, officially opened the Government Precinct Development incorporating the State Works Centre and the renovated Harris Terrace and The Mansions.
This was the first stage of an overall Government Precinct Development which was the area bounded by Elizabeth, George and Alice Streets and the Brisbane River.
The preservation of historical buildings and their integration into a modern urban environment and a coordinated relationship between the Botanic Gardens, Queens Park, the Brisbane River and all the open space within the Precinct, were important aspects of this development.
The seven level, 269 metres long State Works Centre which approximates Parliament House parapet heights, was deliberately restricted to respond to the historic buildings in the area. It was a total departure from the sheer glass towers that were being constructed all around the city.   
Harris Terrace, one of Brisbane’s rare terraces, was built in 1867 and is the oldest existing structure in George Street. The building was ‘modernised’ in 1922 and during that process lost its original colonnaded frontage. When it came time to renovate the building in 1985, architects from the Public Works Department had to rely on old photographs to reconstruct the original façade, as no plans of the original building were in existence.
Reconstruction work on the historical Mansions, a row of six terrace houses, commenced in October 1982 with great attention being paid to detail, resulting in the same high standard of finish as the original.
Although many of the buildings in the area were able to be preserved, the historic Bellevue Hotel, built in the 1880s, was controversially demolished in 1979 to make way for the redevelopment.
During this same period, construction of the Executive Building at 100 George Street was undertaken. The building is home to the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Today, Brisbane’s government precinct is embarking on a new era with the construction of an office tower at 1 William Street and the revitalisation of lower George Street.
Panorama of Government Precincts from Stanley Street, Brisbane,
June 1970 (Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 5566)

Last updated 11 June 2014    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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