Sunday, October 11, 2015

October 11. Day 284. Open Wide. Come inside

 For reasons I don't remember and I'm sure made absolutely no sense at the time, when we were kids my father decided to take us on tours of Brisbane's old and unusual buildings. I don't recall the full itinerary but a Joss House in Albion, St Brigid's Church at Red Hill and the Albert Street Uniting Church were on the list. Turns out my dad was a man ahead of his time because this weekend two of those buildings were included in Brisbane Open House, a fantastic scheme that allows residents to get a look inside buildings they might not know exist or might not normally have access to.
Although he is much older than I was when I took the family history tour, today Drama Teen and I hit the streets to join other families across the city in peering behind normally closed doors.
Our first stop was Spring Hill to the underground reservoir which once formed an integral part of the city's water supply.
This hidden treasure is now occasionally going to be used as a performance space, a fact that excited Drama Teen no end (in fact he's decided Sweeney Todd must one day be performed here).
We then walked to The Albert Street Uniting Church and joined a tour. I wondered about the wisdom of including a church, which is pretty much open to the public all the time, in an Open House scheme but the tour opened my eyes to many facts about the building I knew nothing about. Besides you don't normally get into the crypt or the choir vestibule so there were secrets to be discovered.
 From there is was across the road to King George Square.
 Here you could join the tours of City Hall or take part in the special children's activities. When a mountain of Lego and a giant Jenga set is on offer, I'm afraid there's not much contest.
City Hall isn't going anywhere but the games were going to be packed away after today so games it was (some people never grow up and by some people of course I mean me).
This is probably the fourth time I've joined in the Open House scheme and I've only just touched the surface of the buildings on offer. This may be a young city but there are still plenty of old and interesting buildings to explore. My father tried to tell me this. Like most kids, I suspect I wasn't listening.

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