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The lane is not without historical significance. It sits nestled between the historic Shannon’s building and Winn Street warehouse. Built in 1924-25, both buildings are rare surviving examples of renowned architect E.P. Trewern’s commercial work in Brisbane. Reuben Shannon, the namesake of the building, was both the owner and the builder.
Designed initially with six ground floor shops and four first floor residential apartments, the plans for Shannon’s building changed and instead, a warehouse factory space was created on the first floor. From 1926 to 1940, furniture dealers, mechanics, used tyre dealers, stove-makers and Hutchinson and Son Printers were tenants. The upstairs space was leased to clothing manufacturers Harris and Co. from 1927-1933 and Olsen’s from 1937 and into the 1950s.
Today many of the original features of Shannon’s building remain, including lead light windows in the shop entrances, exterior tiling, decorative diaper-bond brick work within the façade, timber sash windows on the first floor and street awning.
Winn Street Warehouse
Retaining some of its original features, the Winn Street warehouse still has a winch and pulley hauling system intact on the first floor. Evidence of this can be seen in an opening in the front brick gable façade and a first floor receiving entrance that faces the road below.
In 1925 the warehouse was leased to the Motor Supplies Company, and later to the Peanut Products Merchants and Manufacturers Company who occupied it into the 1950s.
Before 2010 Winn Lane was nothing more than a disused space. The lane grew from an idea to create compact, affordable spaces for independent, first time retailers. Skip along to 2020 and this pint size lane way truly packs a punch. Likened to 'falling into a rabbit hole' and slipping into a 'wonderland' of shops and people, Winn Lane is home to a vibrant, creative community of local and independent artisans, fashion designers, hair stylists, and foodies serving indulgent café treats and classic burgers. Whether it is vintage, cult or contemporary, there are many treasures to be found here.
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Sources: Brisbane City Council