A grand 1880s building where fortunes were made and lost.
A rare example of an arcade in Queensland, with architecture adapted to the stifling summer climate, the Stock Exchange Arcade is indicative of the rise and fall of fortune on a nineteenth century goldfield. Charters Towers was once a financial hub and the second largest city in Queensland. The Stock Exchange established in this arcade was responsible for tapping into the world trade markets, via telegraph, three times per day. Immensely important to the entire region, this iconic building was acquired by the National Trust as a means of conserving its heritage values and sharing its historic value with the community and visitors.
Built in 1888, the Stock Exchange Arcade began trading in 1890 and continued operations until 1916, when it had to be shut down due to the rapidly diminishing returns from the gold mines and decreased population. The Arcade fell into disrepair but was saved from demolition in the 1970s by the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Historical Society and later transferred to the National Trust.
The building was subsequently conserved through the efforts of Don Roderick and others, and more recently through grants acquired by the National Trust. The building was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992. Its most recognised feature is the iconic barrel vaulted portico that serves as the entrance to the open-ended arcade. The masonry, two-storey building encloses offices and stores along its wings and street elevation.
Discover features like the tessellated floor in the central hallway, the daily ‘calling of the card’ and the aspirational architecture that symbolised the wealth of the region during the nineteenth century. Wander around the Don Roderick Art Gallery and browse through local businesses still servicing their community from within this magnificent structure.
Open during normal business hours, the Stock Exchange Arcade is free to the public, though donations to assist in maintenance and conservation efforts are always welcome.