by Susanna de Vries
Convict Settlement to River City.
Susanna de Vries, award-winning author, and Jake de Vries, former City Architect of Brisbane, have pooled their talents to compile a joint book on the building of Brisbane, which transports us back to the first years of Brisbane’s bleak existence.
The book shows the Convict and Officers Barracks and convicts digging roads along what became Queen Street and North Quay. Professional artist Conrad Martens paints the Customs House and Kangaroo Point. The book recounts the effects of Brisbane’s building boom of the 1880s when everyone borrowed money and major buildings like the Mansions, the old Museum, the second wing of the Post Office and the Treasury are completed. In the depression years of the 1890s some Queensland banks and architects go broke. A visiting Canadian artist named Lefèvre Cranstone draws rural Toowong, the Regatt a Hotel and the Toowong Rowing Club. River Road, [later Coronation Drive], once used for droving cattle from Brookfield, becomes a thoroughfare for the carriages of the wealthy from Indooroopilly and Milton.