2019 Aus Brisbane Arcade
Paradise Down Under
Do you remember the two TV Series about the Victorian London (1875) based Paradise Department Store that aired over 2012 and 2013? When Rob and I poked our noses inside the opulent arcade and wandered downstairs to the department store we were reminded of the carefully planned displays and colour co-ordination of the UK TV series, even though this arcade is of a later mixture of classical and art nouveau styles and was built between 1923 and 1924 by two of his children to atone for the misdeeds of a certain Patrick Mayne.
Patrick Mayne’s life was dark, disturbed and short. He lived for only forty one years and was possibly plagued by an inherited mental disorder. At 24 years old he allegedly killed and robbed Robert Cox in a pub and used the money to buy a butchers shop on the site of the now existing arcade. Hints of Sweenie Todd come to mind. He was successful in his business dealings and in his better moments was said to be kind and caring. But his other side framed another man over the murder, who was then tried, convicted and hanged. Despite his own success at fatherhood, he forbade his six children from marrying lest they should carry on his mental illness.
His widow left the land her late husband had procured over the years to the University of Queensland and in 1923 her two remaining children employed designers to build the Arcade as a legacy to the people of Brisbane on the site of the old butchery business. A phoenix rises from the ashes of his malevolence.