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Lister House

  • 600171
  • 79 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill


Also known as
Brisbane Clinic
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Health and care services: Medical offices
10.1 Providing health and welfare services: Providing health services
Nowland, Raymond C
Green, JI & Son
Construction period
1930–1948, Lister House (1930 - 1948)
Historical period
1919–1930s Interwar period


79 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill
Brisbane City Council
-27.46427753, 153.02679899


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

Lister House is important in demonstrating the interwar evolution of Wickham Terrace as an important medical specialist precinct in Brisbane, and is associated with the development of specialist medicine in Queensland

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

Lister House is an accomplished and intact building which is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a small-scale, purpose-built interwar medical office building, including in the restrained design the assertion of medical specialist prestige.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

As one of a related group of classical facades, and in particular in association with adjacent Inchcolm [600170], Lister House with its mannered facade exhibits a strong contribution to the Wickham Terrace streetscape, which is valued by the community.

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 has a special association with Brisbane architect RC Nowland, as an example of his private sector work and the innovative Brisbane Clinic concept, which was modelled on the Mayo Clinic in the United States of America.


This two-storeyed masonry building was constructed in 1930 as purpose-designed medical suites for Lister House Ltd, a group of medical practitioners.

Lister House Ltd acquired the site from the Congregational Church in 1929, and commissioned Brisbane architect Raymond Clare Nowland to design a building which could function along the lines of the Mayo Clinic in the United States. The contractor for the project was J I Green & Co.

Drs LJ Jarvis Nye, John Bostock and John Power used the American model to institute the first specialist group practice in Queensland, the Brisbane Clinic, characterised by new standards of investigation and treatment, group consultation, shared facilities, and a reading circle (until the 1950s).

Lister House was one of a number of interwar medical office redevelopments along Wickham Terrace. These included Inchcolm (QHR 600170), Ballow Chambers (QHR 600164), Wickham House and Craigston (QHR 600165). Their construction constituted the second phase (the first being in the 1880s) of the Terrace's growth as a medical precinct, and was indicative of new directions toward specialist medicine in Queensland in the interwar years.

In 1948 the building was extended to the rear with the addition of a second reception and stairwell area and six offices on each storey.

Some renovation of the building was undertaken in the 1980s.


Lister House is located towards the eastern end of Wickham Terrace, overlooking the city centre, within an area dominated by buildings accommodating medical and allied professions. It is a two-storeyed, brick building with basement.

The main arched entrance is surrounded by rendered mouldings which match the heavy render quoining to the angles of the building. Above the doorway is displayed a crest which incorporates a lighted torch, the date (1930) and the motto Lux sanant (light heals). On each side of the entrance are ornate bronze lamps of florentine design and arched windows with exaggerated keystones. Three rectangular windows with prominent mouldings distinguish the upper level. A heavy rendered cornice with a tiled roof behind completes the building.

Although built in two stages, the internal finish to the newer section mirrors that of the first. The interior features silky oak joinery, parquetry floors, rough plaster finish on the walls to picture-rail height, plaster ceilings and cornices employing a variety of decorative mouldings, and leadlighted fanlights above doorways and in the arches of the central corridor.

There are two reception and stairwell areas in the building, with the front staircase featuring silky oak treads and wrought iron balustrading.

The basement was designed specifically to accommodate an x-ray unit, and continues to be used for this purpose.

Lister House continues as a specialist medical office building.

Image gallery


Location of Lister House within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
14 November 2022
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