Milton’s Cook Terraces

by AF

No. 4 and No. 5 Cook Terraces, Brisbane
$1.79 & $1.9 million

There are currently two adjoining offices in the Cook Terraces listed for sale. This could present an opportunity to purchase both and combine them into one large office or residence.

The Cook Terraces were built in 1888 – 1889 by Joseph Blain Cook as an investment property to rent out to wealthy tenants. Cook acquired the land in 1888 from squatter John Frederick MacDougall and raised a mortgage of 6,000 pounds to finance construction.

They were originally built as rental-only terrace homes as the Queensland Undue Subdivision of Land Prevention Act of 1885 prohibited the granting of titles to individual terrace houses. The six 2-storey brick terrace houses with attics and sub floors were all designed with identical floor plans. Each house has two double chimneys and a detached two-storey timber service wing accessed from the rear verandah.

Cook Terrace after a flood in 1894 – State Library of Queensland

Joseph Cook went bankrupt in 1891, and lost ownership to his debtors. By 1895, it was renamed to “Milton Terrace” and was a prestigious address for many years. It was owned by the Rourke family from 1895 to 1905.   The building originally had a parapet, but it was removed prior to 1905. The Rourke family were responsible for adding a wooden verandah and a domed reading room to the south wing.

By 1920, each house was subdivided into two flats each and ownership had transferred to building Simon Smith by 1923. It is assumed that Smith removed the original front parapet and installed dormer windows. There was a tennis court in the southwestern yard by 1928, but it no longer exists.

By the end of the 1930s, it became known as “Gloralgar Flats”.

During World War 2, the terraces were rented by the army for officer accommodation.

In the 1960s and 1970s it was converted into 27 flats and primarily used as student accommodation. The upstairs verandahs were enclosed at that time.

In 1984, the property was renovated and converted to commercial space. The upstairs balconies were enclosed with glass. It was around this time that it became known as the Cook Terrace Business Centre. Terraces are now owned individually.

Cook Terrace is listed in the Queensland Heritage Register. The listing describes the building in 1992 as being substantially intact with a rare surviving attached timber service wing. It is one of the few surviving 19th century terrace houses in Brisbane. The continuation of the masonry party walls above the roof line, is an uncommon type of construction in attached row housing in Brisbane.

The restaurant (was called ‘Joseph Alexanders’, and now ‘Reserve’) is said to be haunted by two ghosts, a woman in a white dress and another that moves cutlery.

Two terraces for sale

No. 4 is listed with a guide price of $1.79 million by Johnston Dixon. It has a net lettable area of 324sqm and 5 car parks. The current owner paid $1.1 million in 2005. They tried listing it in late 2009 for $2.1 million, the dropped the price to $1.8 million by mid-2010, and are still looking for buyers in 2012.

Lot 5 listed is listed for $1.9 million + GST with Savills. The total area is 285sqm and it has 6 car parks. The current owner paid $1.815 million in 2009.

Interiors are largely in keeping with the history of the building and have not been totally gutted.


249 Coronation Drive, Milton, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

The State of Queensland (Department of Environment and Resource Management)