Brisbane was experiencing an unprecedented construction and infrastructure boom during the 1880s, as it evolved from a frontier town into a colonial city. The people were convinced of the unlimited potential of Queensland. This optimism drove prodigal loan spending, inflated land values and an influx of capital from the United Kingdom. This meant that sandstone opulence neighboured flimsy verandas and these homes fronted muddy roads. The resident could attend high-class theatre productions, sporting events, and extravaganzas.
A committee of Brisbane's leading Chinese businessmen collected funds for the temple's construction. They were attempting to unite Brisbane's five adversarial Cantonese clans within a shared place of worship. The rendered brick walls and a section of the floor were constructed by J Petrie & Son to plans drawn by a Chinese architect. All other woodwork, the triple roof and ornamentation were imported from China and completed by Chinese artisans. In the 1970s, the present caretakers residence and an additional Buddhist shrine were constructed on the western side of the temple.
European racism driving the white Australia movement threatened the temple with acts of vandalism, souveniring and threatening its worshippers with abuse and assaults. A diminishing Chinese population, generational change and remoteness became the ultimate threats to the Holy Triad Temple, as second-generation Chinese migrants adopted western customs.
To avoid the temple's demolition, the Chinese Club were invited to consider the temple's condition and make recommendations. The Chinese Temple Society was formed and lobbied the Queensland Government successfully for the temple's restoration and ongoing purpose as a place of worship. Restoration commenced in 1965, including retrieving and replacing the stolen and vandalised original movable objects. The temple reopened in 1966. A new caretaker's residence was added to the western side of the temple, and in the 1970s, a new Buddhist temple was added on the western side of the caretaker's residence. By the mid-1980s, the restoration and additions were completed. In 1992, the Holy Triad Temple was entered into the Queensland Heritage Register.