Skip links and keyboard navigation

Workers' Dwelling No.1

  • 600273
  • 35 Surrey Street, Nundah


State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Residential: Detached house
6.4 Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings: Dwellings
Construction periods
1910, Workers' Dwelling No.1 (1910 - 1910)
1910, Workers' Dwelling No.1 - Main house (1910 - 1910)
1910, Workers' Dwelling No.1 - Kitchen (1910 - 1910)
Historical period
1900–1914 Early 20th century


35 Surrey Street, Nundah
Brisbane City Council
-27.39615016, 153.06199381


Street view

Photography is provided by Google Street View and may include third-party images. Images show the vicinity of the heritage place which may not be visible.

Request a boundary map

A printable boundary map report can be emailed to you.


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

Worker's Dwelling No 1, erected in 1910, is significant as the first house to be constructed under the provisions of the influential Worker's Dwelling Act of 1909.

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

It is representative of the 'timber and tin' housing which predominated in Queensland prior to the Second World War, as a direct result of the Worker's Dwelling Scheme.


This house was constructed in 1910 for Caroline and Otto Gustav Weissner, and was the first home constructed under the provisions of the Queensland Worker's Dwelling Act of 1909.

The Weissners acquired the Nundah site in June 1909, and on 14 March 1910 they made the first application for housing assistance under the new Act.

The result was a mortgage of £190 to the Worker's Dwelling Board, and construction of the house at a total cost of £220. The mortgage was released in August 1925, when the property changed ownership.

The design - which probably emanated from the architectural office of the Worker's Dwelling Scheme - was conservative, economical, and typical of Queensland vernacular working class housing of the period.

The Worker's Dwelling Act, administered as the Worker's Dwelling Scheme, provided for persons whose income was less than £400 per annum, and who owned a suitable site but no house, to be advanced up to two-thirds of the total value of the site plus the proposed dwelling, to the maximum of three hundred pounds. Loans were to be repaid over twenty years at 5% interest.

The scheme was an early Queensland government initiative to assist working class families to build and purchase their own homes, and was the precursor to the Queensland Housing Commission.

During the three decades in which the Worker's Dwelling Scheme was in operation, government assistance provided for the construction of 23,515 houses throughout Queensland, and largely created Brisbane's suburban sprawl of the 1920s and 1930s.

The popularity of the 'workers dwelling' and later the 'Queenslander' is directly attributable to the success of the Worker's Dwelling Scheme.


This is a small, high-set weatherboard house with a short ridge corrugated iron roof, a full width front verandah with a convex iron roof which is now enclosed, and a half width rear verandah, also enclosed.

Scalloped galvanised iron window shades enhance the side windows, which are sash type.

The interior of the core consists of a central hallway and four rooms, with a hipped-roof kitchen projecting at the rear.

Exterior modifications have detracted from the building's decorative appeal. In the process of enclosing the front verandah with timber cladding and aluminium windows, a dowelled balustrade, verandah gate and decorative timber posts with capitals and fretwork brackets have been lost. Modern quad guttering has replaced the original ogee profile and acroteria. Timber stumps have been supplanted by concrete and the front fence has been replaced.

Image gallery


Location of Workers' Dwelling No.1 within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.