MAKING MEMORIES: For 95 years the Brisbane Arcade has been the grandest place to shop in town.
MAKING MEMORIES: For 95 years the Brisbane Arcade has been the grandest place to shop in town.

An arcade of memories in Brisbane landmark

IT MAY be where you purchased your wedding dress, indulged in a tea leaf reading, enjoyed high tea or even came away with an engagement ring, because for 95 years the Brisbane Arcade has been the grandest place to shop in town.

Long before the Queen Street Mall became home to concept stores and international brands, locals found their own couture fashion, exquisite jewellery and bespoke tailors among the wood-lined walls and terrazzo stairs of this arcade.

Designed by architect Richard Gailey for Dr James Mayne and his sister Miss Mary Emelia Mayne, the arcade was constructed in 1923, with the first stores opening in 1924.

Its Edwardian baroque style street facades, dado panelling, terrazzo stairs and lead lights echo traditional late 18th-century European shopping centres.

Remember Lind Umbrellas where they handmade and repaired umbrellas that lasted, the rows of chocolate treats at Darrell Lea, or the tutus and pink ballet slippers at Paul Wright Dancewear?

The arcade's shops in the 1990s were a roll call for emerging and established Queensland fashion designers starting with Gwen Gillam in the 1950s.

The list includes Julie Tengdahl, Pia du Pradal, Anthony Leigh Dower, Keri Craig, Debra Kolkka and Michael Klease, who continued the 70-year Brisbane fashion tradition.

Do you remember when the arcade's World War II air-raid shelter was converted into one of Australia's leading art galleries?

The Johnstone Gallery showed works from leading Australian artists including Donald Friend, Ray Crook, Sir Sidney Nolan, Robert Dickerson and Margaret Olley.

Perhaps you bumped into some high-flyers at Bradley Garrett's Arcade Bistro, which operated in the arcade from 1968 to the early 1980s?

Regulars here were Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, judges and Brisbane's elite businessmen and ladies.

 

Brisbane Arcade is collecting arcade memories and capturing special moments online at Memories, Stories and Tales - brisbanearcade.com.au

/memories-stories-and-

tales - and invites anyone with a story to tell or a photo to share to visit the page.