Both the Commissariat and National Trust House at Queen’s Wharf were open for the 2014 Brisbane Open House (BOH) held on 11-12 October 2014. This fifth annual event allowed visitors to explore both buildings, for the first time viewing the basement level of National Trust House, a space not previously open to the public.
The aim of BOH is to enrich Brisbane residents and visitor’s affinity with the city through encouraging them to explore, re-examine and engage with Brisbane’s built environment. Visitor numbers have increased steadily since the first BOH was held in 2010.
The recently conserved B1 level of National Trust revealed some unexpected items. Just inside the doorway of one of the rooms, a right foot man’s boot was found beneath the floorboards. Construction of this part of the building occurred in 1899. It is believed that the boot was deliberately placed there at time. Since conservation of the room, the boot has been replaced in its original position with a Perspex cover and under floor lighting so that it can be viewed.
Also not usually seen by visitors was the plaster wall inside the east-facing wall of the 1899 extension to National Trust House. Agricultural department workers are believed responsible for pieces of paper cut from newspapers and magazines between 1915 and 1925 that are glued to the wall. Some are of agricultural products, others women’s fashion from the 1920s. One departmental worker had an interest in soldiers who were killed in action in World War One, specifically in 1917. A newspaper report on the deaths of these men forms part of this almost century old collage.