People's Palace | Environment, land and water | Queensland Government

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People's Palace

  • 600096
  • 308 Edward Street, Brisbane City


Also known as
Salvation Army Hostel; Peoples Palace
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Retail, wholesale, services: Coffee palace / temperance hotel
3.11 Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Lodging people
Saunders, Colonel
Construction period
1910–1913, People's Palace (1910 - 1913)
Historical period
1900–1914 Early 20th century


308 Edward Street, Brisbane City
Brisbane City Council
-27.46713174, 153.02537342


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

(Criterion under review)

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

The Peoples Palace is significant as a rare example of a purpose built temperance hotel, it demonstrates rare and uncommon aspects of Queensland's cultural heritage.

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

The building demonstrates the principal characteristics of a Federation building.

The Peoples Palace is important in exhibiting aesthetic characteristics valued by the community in particular, it is a fine example of a Federation brick and render building with the corner entry tower and decorative cast iron work on the verandahs.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

The Peoples Palace is important in exhibiting aesthetic characteristics valued by the community in particular, it is a fine example of a Federation brick and render building with the corner entry tower and decorative cast iron work on the verandahs.

The Peoples Palace is significant as a prominent landmark on the corner of Ann and Edward Street with its corner tower being one of a series along Ann Street.

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

The building is important for as it has special association with the work of the Salvation Army since 1911, an organisation of importance in Queensland's history.


The People's Palace was built in 1910-11 for the Salvation Army as a temperance hotel. Designed by Colonel Saunders, the Salvation Army's architect, it comprised three floors of accommodation, a service basement and a rooftop garden. Built near Central Railway Station, the hotel contained 130 rooms and provided inexpensive 'working class' accommodation for travellers.

The concept of temperance hotels grew out of the temperance movement and the Peoples Palace was the first of its type in Queensland. No alcohol, gambling or 'other evils' were permitted on the premises.

In 1913 extensions were undertaken which involved adding an extra two storeys. Renovations and internal re-arrangements continued over the decades as uses and priorities changed. In 1979 the building was leased out as budget accommodation. Recently, the Salvation Army has established its headquarters on the site and the building is now primarily used as offices.


This large Federation era building is a predominantly red brick structure with painted cement rendered trimmings, decorative cast iron work, and a corner tower.

The plan form is that of a hollow rectangle, with the central opening providing light and air to the rooms. It comprises five storeys plus a basement, and additions above the roof line, it has continuous verandahs on three levels, while the fourth has a steeply pitched roof with red tiles in a diamond pattern punctuated by dormer windows.

The corner octagonal tower, marking the main entrance, has a bell shaped roof with small dormers in each roof segment. Adjacent to the tower is a polygonal brick lift tower.

The verandah's feature decorative cast iron balustrades and friezes with timber posts and handrails. The semi-circular arched and circular windows to the tower have cream painted cement render dressings to contrast with the red brick.

Internally the rectangular courtyard has been divided into two by the insertion of a modern brick fire stair. The hipped roof with clerestory remains above the basement dining saloon in the northern courtyard. This is now used as office space but its original entry doors remain. Pressed metal ceilings remain in many sections of the building. The upper levels have not been refurbished, but the partitioning of the lower levels is not original. The original lift with its sliding doors, timber panelling and surrounding stairwell remains beside the entry foyer.

Image gallery


Location of People's Palace within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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