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The Port Office

  • 600088
  • 39 Edward Street, Brisbane City


Also known as
Stamford Plaza; Harbours and Marine Building
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Government administration: Port office
5.4 Moving goods, people and information: Using shipping
7.2 Maintaining order: Government and public administration
Stanley, Francis Drummond Greville
Petrie, John
Construction period
1879–1929, The Port Office (1879 - 1929)
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century


39 Edward Street, Brisbane City
Brisbane City Council
-27.4714114, 153.03054754


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

Evidence of the expansion of maritime trade in the late 1870s and its importance to the developing economy of the colony.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

An example of the work of Colonial Architect FDG Stanley, and of building contractor John Petrie.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Its contribution to the streetscape as part of a maritime precinct.


The Port Office was built in 1879-80 to a design by FDG Stanley, the Colonial Architect. It replaced an earlier building nearby. The contractor was John Petrie who had tendered £8,811 for the work. The building was erected on land adjoining the old Port Office. A slipway and wharves for use by the Department were adjacent. In 1885 a two-storey extension was constructed at the rear of the building.

In 1929 the building was extended to provide more space for the Department of Labour which had occupied the building since 1906. A tide marker on the wall of the building since the turn of the century was damaged during the 1974 floods but was later replaced.

In 1988 the property was leased to a private company and the building became part of the Heritage Hotel complex. Extensive renovations were undertaken including the removal of all post 1880 additions, and the addition of the end balconies which were shown on the Colonial Architect's original plans.


The Port Office is a two storey, 1880s building which features restrained Classical detailing combined with decorative cast iron work. The building has a prominent entry porch with an extensive elevation facing Edward Street. It has three gable ended projecting bays connected by verandahs. The walls are rendered brick while the roof is sheeted in rolled iron. The lower floor level features plain circular columns supporting the verandah and keyed pilasters. The upper level verandah has slender cast iron columns.

The building has austere Classical detailing with Roman arched openings and a string course in the form of a cornice that runs the perimeter of the building above the ground floor windows. The building has circular ventilator openings in each gable end. Above the roof are chimneys of varying heights, and decorative cast iron ridge cresting. The building is now separated from the river by the Heritage Hotel.

Internally, the building has been extensively renovated and adapted to include ground level specialty shops and a restaurant and bar on the top floor. Two of the shops on the ground floor have had mezzanine levels inserted. Otherwise original ceiling heights have been retained.

Image gallery


Location of The Port Office within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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