During the nineteen eighties there was a developmental movement in Spring Hill that the council of the time had intended would protect the character of the area. One hundred and twenty years before, the suburb was having this character crafted.
It is a short history, but being one of the oldest suburbs of Brisbane, Spring Hill is a link to our most distant Queensland past. There is a stark contrast between the two development periods and their effects. A postcard from the earlier time describes a simple, workingmans suburb, with wife at the washbasin and kids under the house. Much is the same in people today. Irrespective of upbringing, it is natural for a child to play under an old house. The workingman has become the professional, but he works with similar struggles. The only thing that has really changed is the washbasin.
It is, more relevantly, in the building stock that the area has changed. It was in the building stock the council encouraged landholders to preserve and accommodate the areas vernacular. It is not in the building there that the majority of Spring Hill residents are living. Spring Hill still have character, but it is fringed with something that does not fit. Perception of the area can be misleading. To understand the current condition, one must ask, how did it come to be this way?
Due to proximity to the city, which was at the time an industrial centre, the workingman colonised the valleys and hollows of this inner city suburb. The only homes these people could afford to build were very small, yet filled the small sites almost from boundary to boundary. The narrow, picturesque streets and little closely spaced cottages built by workingmen for workingmen of the 1860s and 80s, are what give the area its architectonic identity. The architectural component of the area makes up much of Spring Hills identity overall.
Through time, in the area there developed a thriving community within a deteriorating building stock. When developers came into the suburb in the 1960s and 70s with the intention to change the condition of the built environment, they had a fight on their hands.
With intense pressure, community groups managed to quell what had become an intrusion into the residential areas by commercial developers and the buildings they promoted. These people built with indifference to the character then present in Spring Hill. Unfortunately they were too late to save some areas. The community protest aided the introduction of a plan that would stop the conflict of typologies.
This thesis investigates the development of this character as a historical exercise broken into three parts, the early history, the modern history and the post modern history.