T.C. BEIRNE HISTORY
T.C. Beirne & Co. has a proud history of contribution both culturally and economically to Brisbane. Beirne’s as it was often referred to, held a position of prominence as a retailer of choice for decades during the early 1900’s to the 1960’s.
In 2016 the T.C. Beirne Building will be renewed to its former glory. T.C. Beirne’s will be stripped back to reveal its rich heritage. Thoughtful restoration from award winning architect Hassell will blend the very best that the Robin Dods designed building has to offer with a modern flexible open plan solution.
In its heyday T.C. Beirne’s had a reputation for being ‘The House of the People’. It is hoped that once again this grand edifice will be the house of the people where well-designed commercial office space unites seamlessly with exciting retail and dining experiences
TCB & Co. will offer unique opportunities for restaurants, cafes and bars, to a revitalised ground floor with Beirne Lane and Arcade providing an excellent throughway from Duncan and Brunswick Street malls.
THOMAS CHARLES BEIRNE
Thomas Charles Beirne (1860–1949), an Irishman, was the founder and director of the T.C. Beirne department stores, remaining active in the business right up until his death. What started as a modest drapery business made him one of Queensland’s most successful businessmen, and among the first Australian millionaires.
T.C. Beirne (known as ‘T.C. Beirnes’ or just ‘Beirnes’) was a long-running department store that stablished Fortitude Valley as the place to shop for fashion in Brisbane. They catered to the middle of the market, offering a comprehensive range of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing and footwear, as well as fabric, haberdashery, and other household goods. The early success and growth of Thomas Beirne’s drapery business demonstrates the opportunities Queensland held for immigrant fashion retailers
Beirne’s retained its independence until David Jones bought it out in 1961. The Valley store continued to trade as T. C. Beirne until being rebadged as David Jones in 1966. The Fortitude Valley store was closed in 1973, in a widespread move by David Jones to cut costs.
The site became a mixed-use commercial complex that housed Target. It changed hands multiple times in the following three decades. The heritage-listed building is all that remains of the thriving department store, with a staff of around 900, that T. C. Beirne left behind in 1949.