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Miss Midgley's Is James Street's New Five-Apartment Hotel Inside a Heritage-Listed Ex-Schoolhouse

The striking New Farm building dates back to the 1860s, and now boasts five self-contained rooms, plus a pool, tropical garden and sundeck.
By Sarah Ward
March 11, 2022
By Sarah Ward
March 11, 2022

If you ever drifted off in class back in your school days, then you're already well placed for a slumber at Brisbane's newest boutique hotel. Nestled into James Street, Miss Midgley's sits inside a heritage-listed building that dates back to the 1860s — including previous stints as a private home, a private hospital and, at the turn of the 20th century, as a private school called Miss Midgley's Educational Establishment.

The former schoolhouse is now a five-apartment place to stay that can be rented by the room or booked out as an entire building, giving a spot with a significant past a new lease on life. But, as seen in the hotel's name, Miss Midgley's eagerly embraces its history. Mother-daughter duo Lisa and Isabella White, both architects, have renovated the building with a key focus on restoring, preserving and celebrating its century-plus-old charms.

From the outside, Miss Midgley's heritage look greets both visitors and passersby immediately; being built out of Brisbane tuff stone, aka the type of weathered-appearing rock that marks many of the city's oldest and earliest buildings, will do that. That said, this new hotel is also the kind of spot that you could walk past, marvel at the exterior but not realise that you can staycation there — including with pets in its three ground-floor apartments.

Those bottom-level rooms all feature outdoor courtyards, and all five across both storeys are self-contained, air-conditioned and come with their own outdoor space. They all each take names from the school theme, nodding to the OG Miss Midgley's, too — so downstairs you'll find the one-bedroom Principal's Office, plus two-bedroom Locker Room and Refectory, while the also two-bedroom Assembly Hall and Drawing Room sit upstairs.

With all but one apartment boasting two bedrooms — and the entire place sleeping 18 all up — booking in with your pals for a Brisbane getaway without actually getting out of town is now on your travel curriculum. Given the New Farm location, you'll be just a stroll from James Street's shops and eateries, as well as New Farm Park and Howard Smith Wharves. And if you're happy just hanging out at Miss Midgley's, there's not only the pool but a tropical garden and small sundeck as well, and each apartment gets its own fringed umbrella.

In revitalising Miss Midgley's, the Whites took their design cues from the stone walls; think: a colour palette filled with rusts, pinks and browns, as seen across walls and furniture. The corten front fence is also designed to stand out while still making the building itself the main attraction.

And if you're wondering more about Miss Midgley's past, the Midgley family bought the place in 1903, with daughter Annie converting the home into a school in 1905 due to overcrowding at New Farm State School across the road.

Find Miss Midgley's at 135 James St, New Farm. For more information, or to book, head to the heritage accommodation spot's website.

Images: Static Identity.

Published on March 11, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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