Between the hours of 3 - 4am, April 12, 1864 over 50 houses and numerous businesses were destroyed by fire between George to Albert and Queen to Elizabeth streets in Brisbane's city centre. Out of the ashes of this tragedy came new buildings of stone and brick.
In 1954, the Queen's Royal Procession down Queen Street drew record breaking crowds. General Douglas MacArthur housed himself in an office along Queen Street during World War 2.
Having been a place of gathering it was only right that a portion of Queen Street officially became a foot traffic only mall in 1982. It was extended later on to reach George Street from Albert Street. A forward thinking Brisbane City Council had the foresight to keep the facades of the Victorian architecture from days gone by. This lends charm and life to this busy section of the city.
When you come to the mall you can feel the life. The pulse of it beats and voices carry from the past to the present and mix with hundreds of other voices that travel this street today. People in various stages of life from teeny, weeny newbies to the gentleman with the bamboo cane and baggy grey pants making his way, step by step along the street donate to the buzz.
We are fortunate to be able to sit on shaded benches out of the hot sun and the rain, relishing the beautiful old style that has remained as part of the city's history and present day. Yet at the same time we can also enjoy the new additions and adornments along the way. We can sit and watch as people go by and admire our diversity as a species.
People of all sorts travel and add to the life of this inner city space. Different variations of hair, including long, short, red, purple, accompany clothing items such as boardies, suits and ties, long dresses and short shorts on round, tall or short bodies.
Adding to the mix are the buskers that adorn Queen Street daily. The gentleman with the saxophone places himself on the shady side of the mall, playing skillfully for hours. The balloon man can be seen making various animals. Young aboriginal men will sit playing the Didgeridoo.
Over the course of the year different activities and events go on including fashion shows, musical demonstrations, sporting events and Christmas activities, just to name a few. More can be found at www.queenstreetmall.com.au
With over 700 retailers, major shopping centres, restaurants, pubs, fast food outlets and healthy alternatives Queen Street is considered the shopping capital of the city.
Whether you sit on a bench with your camera admiring the architecture, watching the passersby or perhaps choosing to partake of all that is on offer, you will be part of the life force that makes Queens Street come to life.
Don't forget that fount of knowledge for tourists and locals alike - The Brisbane Visitors Information Centre in the Queen Street Mall. If you like meeting folk from all over and helping them get the best out of what the city has to offer, volunteer at the VIC.