The building known in the early twenty-first century as National Trust House reflected the growth and adaptability of Queensland to a greater extent than any other building in the Queen’s Wharf precinct. Constructed in 1865-66 as the colony’s first purpose-built accommodation for immigrants, the building was converted firstly to offices and laboratories for the Department of Agriculture and then re-converted into offices for other government organisations. In January 2017 the building was closed and bracing installed to protect it as construction of the new integrated casino development, Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, commenced adjacent to it.
The first wharf constructed in the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement was on the riverbank adjacent to the Commissariat Store. As this 1829 building still exists, it is possible to locate the place where convicts constructed this timber wharf and its accompanying boatshed.
1959 was Queensland’s Centennial Year. To celebrate in a project that was contemporary yet gracious, the Queensland Cabinet voted to develop a new library centre around the nucleus of the then Queensland Public Library. Two important features of the extension were a wall decoration around the sweeping curve between William Street and Queen’s Wharf Road and a sculpture addressing the river.
No permanent structure has ever been located on one small section of land between William Street and Queen’s Wharf Road. Miller Park, a government reserve since the end of the convict era, has been a grassy slope and a pedestrian short cut between the city and the river since the mid-nineteenth century.
Keeping a watchful eye over Queen’s Gardens since 1906 has been the statue of Queen Victoria, after whom Queen’s Wharf was named. Such a long reign did this Queen have that both a convict era wharf and a twentieth century public park acknowledge her contribution to British and Australian history, as does the name of the State.