Get Queen Street, Brisbane essential facts below. View Videos or join the Queen Street, Brisbane discussion. Add Queen Street, Brisbane to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Queen Street, Brisbane, with decorations for the royal visit in 1954
Before 1842 and free settlement, Queen Street was originally a track leading from the main section of the early Moreton Bay Penal Colony, crossing a stream known as Wheat Creek with a deviation going up to the Windmill. In early 1840, a surveyor named Dixon drew up a survey for the central Brisbane streets with all streets 66 feet (20 metres) wide. Changes were then made to this plan with square blocks flattened into a rectangular grid with streets becoming 1.4 chains (27 metres). On Governor Gipps' visit to Brisbane Town in March 1842, Gipps remarked that Brisbane Town was "simply an ordinary provincial settlement", which would need no grand avenues. As a result, Gipps moved the planned width of Queen Street, along with other streets, back to 66 feet (20 metres), arguing that this change would mean that buildings could be kept out of the sun.
Later, there was compromise with the main street that would be known as Queen Street, with the western boundary's width changed to 1.2 chains (24 metres).
In 1864, there were two significant fires along the street. The September 1864 fire started in the Little Wonder store on Edward Street which destroyed 14 shops in Queen Street. This event later became known as Bulcock's Fire. On 1 December 1864, the Great Fire of Brisbane started within the cellar of a Queen Street drapery store which burnt down buildings bordering Queen Street, as well as Albert Street, Edward Street, George Street and Elizabeth Street.Brisbane Courier described the fire as "the whole of the business premises and private residences...were, in a couple of hours, reduced to a heap of ruins".
On 9 December 1882, a demonstration of electricity was conducted with eight arc lights along Queen Street. Power was supplied by a 10 hp generator driven by a small engine in a foundry in Adelaide Street. This was Australia's first recorded use of electricity for public purposes.
In 1902, part of Queen Street was not paved or sealed although stormwater drainage was well maintained.
Queen Street is historically significant as it contains MacArthur Central, the building in which the American General Douglas MacArthur had his South West Pacific headquarters (from July 1942 to November 1944) during World War II and directed the Allied Forces campaign. The former AMP building was later renamed MacArthur Central as a tribute to General MacArthur.
In 1981, the part of the street between Albert Street and Edward Street was closed to traffic.  This section was opened as the Queen Street Mall in 1982, in time for the Commonwealth Games. Later, the section between Albert Street and George Street was converted into an extension of the pedestrian mall, timed to coincide with Brisbane's Expo '88.
^Armstrong, Lyn (1997), "'A somewhat rash experiment':Queensland Parliament as a microcosm of society", in Shaw, Barry (ed.), Brisbane:Corridors of Power, Papers, 15, Brisbane: Brisbane History Group Inc, p. 54, ISBN0-9586469-1-0
^Laverty, John (2009). The Making of a Metropolis: Brisbane 1823-1925. Salisbury, Queensland: Boolarong Press. p. 56. ISBN978-0-9751793-5-2.