Government House, Paddington , QLD , Australia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member CADS11
S 27° 27.786 E 152° 59.448
56J E 499090 N 6962270
Quick Description: Government House is a heritage-listed mansion at 170 Fernberg Road, Paddington, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is the official residence of the Governor of Queensland, the representative of the Australian monarch in Queensland. It was originally
Location: Queensland, Australia
Date Posted: 12/30/2019 4:06:16 AM
Waymark Code: WM11WN0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 1

Long Description:
Government House is a heritage-listed mansion at 170 Fernberg Road, Paddington, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is the official residence of the Governor of Queensland, the representative of the Australian monarch in Queensland. It was originally designed by Benjamin Backhouse and built 1865, but has been subsequently extended and refurbished. It is also known as Fernberg. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.
The Premier of Queensland must visit the Governor at Government House to request the dissolution of the Queensland Legislative Assembly and the calling of a general election. Following the outcome of such elections, the Governor appoints the Premier and Ministry and the swearing-in of Members of the Legislative Assembly which also takes place at Government House.
Government House is open to the general public on certain open days, usually on Australia Day, 26 January and Queensland Day, 6 June.

The land on which the Government House stands was originally granted as two separate portions. Portion 223 was bought in May 1860 by Johann Christian Heussler, who also purchased the adjoining portion 291 two years later in partnership with George Reinhard Francksen. In 1864 Francksen died and the land passed to Heussler. At that time the landscape in this outlying suburb of Brisbane may have been close to undeveloped natural bushland.
The Hon Johann (John) Christian Heussler, 1820-1907, was a native of Germany who emigrated to Victoria, Australia in 1852. Due to poor health he moved to Brisbane 1854 and established the mercantile firm Heussler and Co. Over two decades Heussler became a highly respected business man and citizen of Queensland. He was recognised as a founding member of the Queensland Club, Consul for the Netherlands, German Consul, and Emigration Agent for German shipping companies. In 1866 he was appointed to the Queensland Legislative Council.
Heussler commissioned Brisbane architect Benjamin Backhouse to design a residence for Heussler, which was constructed in 1865.
Heussler named his home Fernberg, giving it a name of German origin that meant "distant mountain". Benjamin Backhouse was an architect responsible for several substantial commissions in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Local examples of his work include other villa residences such as Baroona, Cintra House, Riversleigh and Old Bishopsbourne.
Due to financial difficulties, Heussler was forced to leave the property by 1871 after which it was leased to Arthur Palmer, then the Premier of Queensland. In November 1877, the estate was advertised for sale; the house and grounds were described as being:
"The house is built of brick and stone, being four stories high, having below kitchen and servants' room; on the ground floor spacious drawing, dining, and breakfast rooms; on the first floor three large bedrooms, and one large room on the second floor. The roof is covered with slates, the verandahs and balconies being spacious, and presenting a delightful retreat for the enjoyment of pure air, shade, and widespread and charming view. The whole of the internal and external workmanship and materials are of the very best description, and the out-offices are replete with every necessary. The stable contains a great many stalls. There is also carriage-house, storeroom, groom's room, harness-room, &c, &c."
"The grounds are all enclosed, the timber having been thinned so as to give the place a park-like appearance, and there is a shrubbery and garden round the house. The Enoggera water pipes run through the property so that there is an abundant supply of water in all seasons. The view from Fernberg is something out of the common, both for extent, variety, and beauty; and one of the best proofs that can be adduced in favor of this assertion is the fact that, go where you will the house is seen towering aloft above every tenement in the neighborhood."

The property was transferred to George and Nathan Cohen in 1878, neither of whom resided in the house.

John Stevenson, a successful pastoralist, stock and station agent and a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, bought Fernberg in the mid 1880s and commissioned architect, Richard Gailey in 1888 to design extensive additions and alterations to the house. The scheme was a major undertaking which more than doubled the size of the original house, and altered the building from an 1860s villa to an Italianate Mansion.[2] The new section had stuccoed detailing, faceted bays and the main entrance was orientated northwards and marked by a tower. These additions made the residence very close to the road; however following the "straightening" of Fernberg Road, the original road became the driveway. The road was transformed into a winding avenue that led to both the front and side entrances. In 1890 a fountain, gates and gate pillars were erected in the grounds that were well established with trees and shrubs. Various other outbuildings and structures were also developed on the property and included: a coach house, five stall stable, harness room, tool room, man's room, laundry, gymnasium, aviary, fowl house, closets, bush house, glass house and asphalt tennis court. The 1890s economic depression brought an end to Stevenson's fortune and by 1895 the property was mortgaged to William Pattison and Walter Russell Hall. Two years later Hall, a well-known philanthropist who had made his fortune from gold at Mount Morgan, took possession of the residence; however, he chose never to live at the property.

The decision to lease Fernberg as a temporary Vice-regal residence was made in February 1910 following the formal dedication on 10 December 1909 of the original Government House as Queensland's first university, the University of Queensland. At the same time, plans for a new Government House to be erected at Victoria Park were being prepared; however work on the new House never progressed beyond the construction of footings. In June 1911, despite reports that Fernberg was too small, the government purchased Fernberg as a permanent government house.[2] Alterations and renovations carried out immediately included painting, new floor coverings, the installation of electric light, metalling, gravelling, and rolling of roadways and fencing. Several buildings from the former Government House site were moved to Fernberg in 1910-11 to provide accommodation for offices, a billiard room and apartments for the private secretary and aide-de-camp. A lodge and servants' quarters were also relocated to the site. A chauffeur's cottage was built in 1923, and a commodious timber garage erected in 1935.

Formal gardens were initially developed in 1910, primarily for the purpose of providing functional spaces for Vice-Regal garden parties and fund-raising events. Generally the selection of plant material in these garden areas was exotic, mostly ornamental and some native trees. Surrounding the gardens was the original bushland that covered about 70% of the entire grounds. In comparison to the formal gardens, the bushland received very little attention except for the successive clearing of the understorey plants and later of sapling and shrub regrowth. In 1928 "woodland walks" were created by Governor Sir John and Lady Goodwin through the bushland behind Government House. Paths were created, foot bridges constructed and various plants introduced, such as jacarandas, wattles and poinsettias.

In September 1936, suggestions to relocate the Governor back to the original residence were raised by the then Governor, Sir Leslie Wilson. Despite serious consideration, the Premier and Cabinet rejected the idea and instead proposed substantial additions to Fernberg, thus settling the issue of a permanent Government House. Governor and Lady Wilson were both intimately involved in the plans for additions that were designed by the Department of Public Works. The extent of the 1937 additions included construction of a new eastern wing that contained a large reception room, billiards and supper room and a new bedroom with ensuite. To give coherency to the entire building, the entire exterior of Fernberg was painted cream. New maids' quarters and a laundry were built separate to the main house.

Minor internal alterations were carried out on Fernberg in the mid 1940s after a change of Governor and in anticipation of visits by various members of the Royal Family (Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester having been appointed as Governor-General of Australia in January 1945). Pressure for additional accommodation for the Governor's private staff in the late 1940s resulted in the construction of a single storied brick Auxiliary Building. This building replaced the earlier timber building that had been relocated onto the site in 1910 and was subsequently moved to another site in Bardon. In 1950 a brick administration building and a new coverway with port cochere were erected. The entire complex was painted white at this time.

In 1953 a balcony with a concrete staircase leading to the ground level was constructed, opening off the reception room. Doors and windows in the billiards rooms were altered so that they opened out onto a terrace beneath the balcony.

Additional residences for staff accommodation were introduced in 1959, 1984 and 1986. A tennis court and swimming pool were built in 1959-1960. Air conditioning services were first introduced in 1957 and were extended in 1978. Refurbishment of the original section of Fernberg, referred to as the guest wing, was carried out in 1981-82. A new guard house was constructed in 1987 and substantial internal works involving the refurbishment of the reception areas were also carried out in the same year. The main house underwent major external refurbishment and painting again in 1992.

Late in 1992 one hectare of Government House grounds was taken over by the Department of Transport as part of the widening of Kaye Street. The result of these works is the construction of substantial retaining walls along the western perimeter of the property.
Taken from: (visit link)
Type of building where window is located: Government Building

Government House, 168 Fernberg Road, Paddington, Qld 4064

Days of Operation: Open Houses

Hours of Operation: From: 12:00 AM To: 12:00 AM

Admission Charge: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
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CADS11 visited Government House, Paddington , QLD , Australia 12/30/2019 CADS11 visited it