Paddy's Market was erected in 1955-57 as the new No 3 woolstore for the well-known pastoral firm of Dalgety & Co. Ltd. It was the second last store to be erected in the Teneriffe woolstore precinct, and the last in Dalgety's complex, which included a wharf and a wool dumping and grain store. As with earlier woolstores in the Teneriffe area, the building's function was to store and show Queensland wool, sales being conducted at the Wool Exchange in the Brisbane central business district. Like earlier woolstores, the top floor was occupied by a single large showroom, where buyers could examine the wool at leisure under suffusive natural lighting.
The site was owned from 1883 to 1906 by Queensland Brewery Ltd (later Carlton United), manufacturers of Brisbane's popular Bulimba Beer. By 1890 the company had established a brewery at the end of Florence Street, which at the time did not extend to Macquarie Street. In 1906 the woolstore site was sold to Dalgety & Co. Ltd, which built on this and adjacent land from 1906-07 onwards. Dalgetys were the first pastoral company to move into Teneriffe, which in the 1910s and 1920s developed as Brisbane's principal woolstore precinct, to which wool was railed and shipped from all over Queensland, awaiting auction by the large pastoral companies like Dalgety's which dominated the wool industry. Three major factors shaped this development: the presence of a railway, the availability of deep river wharfage, and the expansion of primary industry in Queensland. In 1897 the Colonial Sugar Refinery and its wharf were constructed south of Merthyr Road, along with the Bulimba branch railway line connecting the refinery to the main network. Convenient bulk transport was crucial for the movement of wool from distant properties to the woolstores, rail being the cheapest means of bringing the product in for storage until it was shipped out some time after sale. Until the construction of Dalgety's large wharf and first woolstore (1906-07) at Teneriffe, bales were stored in bondstores scattered around Brisbane. Following Dalgety's move into the area, five more stores were erected in Teneriffe during the wool boom between 1909 and 1915, and the excellent wool years and building boom between 1924 and 1925 were responsible for another five, at an outlay of some £3,000,000. During the early 1930s, when wool contributed 50 percent of Queensland's total exports, Brisbane averaged ten wool sales a year, and two more stores were built. Four were added during the 1940s, but these were not as substantial, and only one had a showroom. The wool boom of the 1950s occasioned the construction of the final two woolstores in Teneriffe: Dalgety's new No 3 Store, and Australian Estates Co. Ltd No 2 Store (1957) in Macquarie Street (600320). When Florence Street was extended through to Macquarie Street early in 1955, Dalgetys demolished their No 3 single-storey corrugated iron store and No 4 two-storey single brick woolstore. These were replaced in 1955-57 by the present brick building. Jack Michod, Dalgety's Queensland Wool manager, was very involved in the design, in particular regarding natural lighting, floor room spacing and an innovative chute control system. These technological and operational features reflected new marketing procedures in Queensland's wool industry during the boom of the 1950s. From the mid-1960s, changing economic pressures, the advent of containerism, technological advances in core sampling of wool, and improved breeding standards, caused the wool industry to change to single-level storage, labour-saving methods and computer trading, few of which were feasible at Teneriffe. The pastoral company which was the first to move into the Teneriffe area was also the first to move out. In 1961 Dalgety & Co. Ltd merged with New Zealand Loan & Mercantile Agency Co. Ltd, and as Dalgety & New Zealand Loan Ltd, in 1964 built a new wool centre at Rocklea, selling the redundant Teneriffe No 3 woolstore to Queensland Primary Producers. From the mid-1960s, the importance of the Teneriffe facilities to the Queensland wool industry slowly declined, and the Teneriffe wharves, having failed to keep pace with technological changes, and lacking sufficient depth for container vessels, were supplanted in 1977-78 by the Port of Brisbane Authority's new river-mouth facilities at Fisherman's Island. Since the mid-1970s, many of the former woolstores at Teneriffe have been recycled for office, storage and retail purposes. In 1984 Primaries transferred their No 8 Woolstore to 'Paddy' John Stephens, who established a market trading centre in the building. As Paddy's Market, the place has become a popular Brisbane shopping and tourist venue.