Is this Spring Hill's loveliest thoroughfare?
From the time of first European settlement it was Spring Hill’s elevated terraces that attracted the attention of the well-to-do. The cooling breezes, long vistas and ease of movement had long before marked out the future Gregory, Leichhardt and Wickham Terraces as desirable.
The streets connecting the Terraces were another matter. Spring Hill’s dips and valleys were crowded with workers living cheek-by-jowl in cramped, timber cottages: cold in winter and roasting in summer.
Yet today it is precisely one of these streets that is amongst the loveliest in the suburb.
Victoria Street rises gracefully from Water Street to St Paul’s Terrace, ushering the casual visitor into another world.
A carpet of leaves blurs the edges of footpaths and kerbs, while the street trees link arms overhead.
The median planting is tough and the gardens are picturesquely relaxed and lush.
Amongst the treasures of Victoria Street are Moody’s Cottages, built in the 1870s for one William Moody, a ‘letter carrier’. Upon purchasing the property Moody had the block subdivided into three equal portions by well-known architect Richard Gailey, who is believed to have also designed the houses.
The cottages included a pair of terraces and a detached house, all of which remained in the family until 1949.
Moody’s Cottages are constructed of brick and stone, rather than the timber prevalent throughout the suburb, one of several reasons the houses have been listed on Queensland’s State Heritage Register.
Turning to come back down the street another delight appears – a ‘flatiron’ fence folds its pointy arms around the apex of a corner site.
Slow, gentle, inviting and alive – why aren’t more Brisbane streets like this?