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  • 600139
  • 120 Queen Street, Brisbane City


Also known as
Edwards and Chapman
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Retail, Wholesale, Services: Shop/Store
Retail, wholesale, services: Warehouse
3.8 Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Marketing, retailing and service industries
Stanley, Francis Drummond Greville
Holmes, Henry
Construction period
1882, Sportsgirl (built as retail warehouse and first occupied by drapers Edwards and Chapman)
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century


120 Queen Street, Brisbane City
Brisbane City Council
-27.46963456, 153.0247418


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

Sportsgirl is important in demonstrating the evolution of Queensland's history, in particular the secondary phase of development in Queen Street during the early 1880s, initiated by the disposal of the convict barracks.

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

Sportsgirl demonstrates the principal characteristics of the commercial work of Brisbane architect, FDG Stanley and of a Victorian era commercial building with ornate Italianate detailing.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Sportsgirl is important in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics valued by the community, in particular, its contribution to the streetscape of Queen Street as part of a group of surviving 1880s commercial buildings.


This building was erected as a retail warehouse during 1881-82 and occupied by Edwards and Chapman in December of 1882.

Welsh businessman Richard Edwards joined Scotsman James Chapman in the establishment of a drapery store in Brisbane in 1877. Successful in their venture, the two required larger premises and in September 1881 acquired deeds of grant to Allotments 13, 13A and 14 of Section 12. The convict barracks, later first parliamentary buildings and supreme court had stood on this site from 1827 until its demolition in early 1881. A government decision to dispose of this Crown land prompted the redevelopment of the northern side of Queen street bounded by the old Town Hall (now Lennons Hotel site) and Albert Street.

Ex-Colonial Architect Francis DG Stanley supervised the construction of the building by contractor H Holmes. With a frontage of 48 feet to Queen Street and a depth of 138 feet, this substantial warehouse incorporated features designed to 'meet the requirements of a tropical climate'. The three storey building with basement was notable for it 18 foot ceilings, and had an oval opening 50 feet by 15 feet in each floor. This device was intended to allow ventilation and better light dispersion. A hydraulic powered Otis lift was also incorporated in the building.

The company was dissolved when Richard Edwards retired in 1891 and James Chapman obtained title to the site in May of that year. As Chapman and Company the business diversified into soft furnishings and furniture. In 1923 extensive alterations were carried out to the shopfronts by SS Carrick under the guidance of architectural firm Hall and Prentice. The work necessitated the insertion of steel columns and girders into the existing stonework.

Chapmans sold the building in 1938 ending the a 56 year association with the site. Subsequent owners have continued the retail use of the premises, the current occupants being involved in the merchandising of female apparel.


The Sportsgirl building located at 120 Queen Street dates from the Victorian era and was designed by FDG Stanley with ornate Italianate detailing.

It consists of three storeys with a basement and an attic level. It has a simple rectangular plan with brick back and side walls and a richly ornamented front. The rear of the building is polychrome brickwork while the front also uses lightly coloured Oamaru limestone although it is now not obvious as the facade has been painted white. At street level facing Queen Street there is presently a modern shop front with a central doorway flanked by shop windows, and a suspended awning above.

The first floor level has a projecting bay or oriel window with flanking arcades. The original detail of the bay window has been replaced with a modern glazed structure. The arcading is composed of round headed arches supported on partially fluted pilasters, with Corinthian capitals. Recessed behind the arches are plate glass windows which have been entirely blanked out with its current usage.

The second floor level has round headed window openings in line with the arches on the level below. These openings have decorative hood mouldings, and prominent keystones of acanthus leaves. The facade is finished with a dentilled string course which is the base of a Corinthian entablature with Italianate balustrading. A vase is located above a pedestal at each end and centred above the parapet is a triangular pediment. This has the words 'ERECTED 1882' engraved on the surface.

Internally the building has suffered with its changing ownership, but although the original internal columns have been encased some traces of their original decoration remain.

The rear polychrome brick facade of the building has a carefully composed elevation of arched openings with the stone base partially exposed. Little has changed to this facade since it was first constructed apart from the bricking up of some of the openings and the installation of modern entry doors for access from Burnett Lane.

The building is part of a group of surviving Victorian commercial buildings that are prominent in this portion of Queen Street.

Image gallery


Location of Sportsgirl within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
20 February 2022
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