Customs House, one of Brisbane’s heritage icons, is located on the river in the Central Business District. Behind the grand Corinthian columns you will find exquisite boardrooms, a stunning ballroom, seminar rooms and a Licensed Restaurant.
Dwarfed by modern towers of glass and steel, the Customs House still shines like a beacon on the banks of the Brisbane River. With work commencing in 1886, this imposing and rare surviving masterpiece of the Colonial architects Office took three years and 38,346 pounds to build. It is actually older than both City Hall and the houses with direct river frontage. Opened in 1889, this stately land mark served as the city's Customs House for almost a century before the gradual shift of port activities closer to the river mouth undermined its role. Regular guided tours capture the building's historic flavour while a display of memorabilia from those bygone years still stirs the imagination of visitors.
Customs House finally closed in April 1988 and for a while the building's future was uncertain. Then in late 1991 the University of Queensland took over the lease and launched a major restoration program to return the heritage-listed building to its former glory. Three years and $7.5 million later the original style had been faithfully recaptured - but this time subtly blended into a modern, highly functional, multipurpose building for educational and cultural activities. The Customs House is once more a major Brisbane asset.