Heritage is about the things from the past which
are valued enough today to save for tomorrow.

Queens Buildings

Queen’s Buildings were opened in 1898 and constructed for the nearby Wesley Church. Designed by architects Wilkinson & Smith, the commercial building was one of the largest ever undertaken in Perth up to that time. Today it is still a landmark on the corner of William and Murray Streets, and its tower and facades are a reminder of gold boom architecture.

When constructed, the main purpose of Queen’s Buildings was to serve the needs of the church, who owned the land, with 21 shops along the ground floor to fund the project and raise additional money. The building was designed in the ‘Domestic Gothic’ style so that it reflected the architecture of the nearby Wesley Church. The interior was also decorated in a Gothic manner.

On William Street, between two shops was an entrance to the large hall at the rear, known as ‘Queen’s Hall’. This could provide seating for 1,500 people and was designed to have great acoustics, so it could be used for concerts and lectures. Below the hall was a basement which was intended to be leased as a warehouse. The remainder of the Murray and William street frontages were taken up with the shops.

In time, Queen’s Hall became the Metro Theatre, and in 1927 it was rebuilt as Hoyts Regent, and finally closed in October 1973. Today the ground floor of Queen’s Buildings continues to serve its original purpose of retail, and the tower on the corner is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks.

Detailed Description

Queen’s Buildings were opened in 1898 and constructed for the nearby Wesley Church. Designed by architects Wilkinson & Smith, the commercial building was one of the largest ever undertaken in Perth up to that time. Today it is still a landmark on the corner of William and Murray Streets, and its tower and facades are a reminder of gold boom architecture.

When constructed, the main purpose of Queen’s Buildings was to serve the needs of the church, who owned the land, with 21 shops along the ground floor to fund the project and raise additional money. The building was designed in the ‘Domestic Gothic’ style so that it reflected the architecture of the nearby Wesley Church. The interior was also decorated in a Gothic manner.

Queen’s Buildings is a two- and three-storey building with shops at ground floor and office space above. The section of the building facing the William Street and wrapping around the Murray Street corner is three-storey, while the western portion of the building, facing Murray Street, is two-storey.

On William Street, between two shops was an entrance to the large hall at the rear, known as ‘Queen’s Hall’. This could provide seating for 1,500 people and was designed to have great acoustics, so it could be used for concerts and lectures. Below the hall was a basement which was intended to be leased as a warehouse. The remainder of the Murray and William street frontages were taken up with the shops.

Behind the shops and hall were three two-storey warehouses to be erected on the rear portion of the land. These were on land then occupied by the ‘Sisters of the People’ home, an organisation that provided nursing care to the poor. It was proposed that a new home would be erected for them near the Wesleyan manse. Along the Murray street frontage was also a Chinese Mission Hall and Sunday School.

In time, Queen’s Hall became the Metro Theatre, and in 1927 it was rebuilt as Hoyts Regent, and finally closed in October 1973. Today the ground floor of Queen’s Buildings continues to serve its original purpose of retail, and the tower on the corner is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks.

Inquirer 3 September 1897

Location