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Home| Historic Albany | Grand Hotels

The Grand Hotels

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EST. 1890

FREEMASONS HOTEL

Albany’s grandest hotel of all time was the Freemasons Hotel, sadly demolished in the 1970s. It began as a single storey building in 1890 extended to two and then in 1912 to three storeys; its embellishments included a vast dining room, 62 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, gas and electricity including electric. There are many reports of grand functions including hosting visiting dignitaries in its eighty-year existence.

There was intentions to replace it with a supermarket, but bankruptcy left the vacant lot, which remains a car park. The response to increasing population and especially to many more travellers arriving in the town continued until well into the twentieth century.

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EST. 1905

LONDON HOTEL

The Chusan Hotel was the original hotel built, which had stood on this site since 1849 and then later was rebuilt in 1871. At the turn of the century the London Hotel was built in 1909 for the sum of £7,000 by the proprietor Harry C. Sims.  Mr Sims remained the proprietor until 1918.

 

The London Hotel, is a substantial two-storey brick built hotel with a large spacious ground and first floor balcony, commanded views of Princess Royal Harbour and was reminiscent of an English manor, with full length verandah and upstairs balcony. The hotel had a drawing room, dining room and public bar located on the ground floor.

In 1920 the London Hotel was renovated with an elaborate fretwork façade on both the downstairs verandah and the upstairs balcony, this was removed completely in the 1960s and the present entrance being a few stairs under a covered archway. The inscription ‘LONDON HOTEL 1909’ remains at the top of the building.

Today the London Hotel is occupied by Liberte, a Parisian inspired bar inside blending much of the historic London Hotel grand features.e Star Hotel.

EST. 1835

ALBANY HOTEL

The Albany Hotel was built by John Moir in 1835 as his intended personal residence and is believed to be Western Australia's oldest hotel and the first establishment to hold a liquor licence since 1836. Originally known as the 'Horse and Groom' it was later renamed the Albany Hotel in 1892.

The nineteenth century two storey building  with a lace iron balcony, acquired a grand position on York Street.  In 1908 the hotel was extensively refurbished by Mrs Norrish and by a local builder, Mr Charles Layton. Mrs Norrish owned many properties around Albany and died in 1930 aged 80, still owning the hotel.

The Albany Hotel retains its original style and the two wings are linked by a covered verandah.  Various modifications have been undertaken throughout the years, including extension of the lower verandah and enclosure and has had many licensees.

 

An interesting link with history is a signature by Herbert Hoover in the 1900 guest book.

 

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EST. 1891

PREMIER HOTEL

The Premier was built in the last decade of the nineteenth century and still occupying the site on the southeast corner of York and Grey Street. This two storey brick building with arched windows and moulded chimney capping with its original balcony facing York Street.  In 1913 the balcony was extended along the entire Grey Street façade of the hotel.

The first meeting of the Albany Roads Board was held in the hotel dining room in 1896, marking an important development in both local and state administration. From 1912 until his death in 1929 the owner of the Premier Hotel was R R Burridge, the licensee M A O’Grady. It was sold at auction for £6,550 to William Harper.  The building was described as having 20 bedrooms, a sitting and dining room and two large bar areas, by 1930 this description had been inflated to 26 bedrooms, bars, dining rooms, commercial rooms, bathrooms, hot water service, electric light and sewerage throughout.

The building was abandon for many years, however recently the building has undergone an entire renovation, reinstating many old features and returning it to its' former regal establishment.

EST. 1867

ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL

The Royal George on Stirling Terrace was previously built on the site of the old Aberdeen House, the personal residence of Alexander and Catherine Moir in 1867. In the mid 1880s the Moir’s leased the two storey house to Frederick Watts who obtained licenses to convert the building into the Railway Hotel. It is believed that some of the original structure of the Aberdeen House was incorporated into the rear of the hotel. In 1892 Moir leased the Railway Hotel to Charles Bailey and during this period the hotel’s name was changed to Royal George Hotel.

 

In the late 1890s, Mr Reynolds took over the running of the hotel and in 1897 built a double storey verandah and adding the front parapet bearing the new name 'ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL' and in 1910, further additions included a third storey with a cast iron balcony and the building was entirely rendered by the proprietor S.M Patterson.

 

The public bar facilities were located on the ground floor with the drawing room, eighteen bedrooms, five baths and five toilets were located at the first floor level and the second floor had thirteen bedrooms, two baths and toilets were built. Patterson's advertising pitch was to attract commercial and professional travellers, however, the hotel remained the ‘lumpers pub’ for those who worked on the coal hulks. Today the Royal George is occupied by Six Degrees an urban Retro Bar and Accommodation and is adjacent to the White Star Hotel.

 

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EST. 1898

ESPLANADE HOTEL

The first Esplanade Hotel once stood overlooking Middleton Beach on the corner of Adelaide Crescent and Flinders Parade and was opened on 7th July, 1898 with a grand celebratory dinner hosted by the owner, Mr. Charles Patterson and the licensee, Mr. J. H. Moody and their wives.

 

Transport was provided from the town to Middleton Beach for a host of eminent guests. These included the Mayor, the Hon. W. G. Knight, the former mayor, J. Moir, the Resident, the Hon. J. A. Wright, Mr. A. Y. Hassell, MLA, councillors, bank managers and many well-known business men. A dinner of many courses was served in a flower-decorated dining room, then numerous speeches and toasts were followed by a musical soiree.

 

The hotel was a great success until it was destroyed by fire on 3rd April, 1908. The fire which started about 5.30am in a back room. A new hotel was built and opened in April 1911, which advertised electrics, telephones, septic tanks and running hot water. Numerous hotels have been built on the site and in recent times the site was the focus due to its long vacancy and the state government acquired the land only to sell it to a developer who is approved to build a multi-million dollar hotel.

EST. 1910

WHITE STAR HOTEL

The ‘White Hart Hotel’ originally built in 1906, occupied this site but was later demolished to make way for the new hotel.  Mr Charles Reddin was the manager of the White Hart Hotel in 1906 and purchased the hotel only to demolish and rebuild it in 1910. Mr Reddin named the hotel, the White Star after the British passenger and steam ship liner, the White Star Line, that operated out of Albany  port. 

 

With upgrades of modern requirements such as bathrooms, hot and cold water and electric lighting, supporting its boosting twenty-two large bedrooms and various common rooms including a drawing, smoking and commercial room. The downstairs area contained a larger dining room and bar area, with large arched windows facing onto Stirling Terrace and a balcony with timber balustrades commanding views of Princess Royal Harbour.

 

Sometime during 1916 and 1919 the hotel was sold to George Marques and since then has had a number of owners and undergone numerous renovations, some to reinstate its original detailing including the timber verandah.  Today the White Star Hotel is a Brew Pub and Restaurant and is adjacent to the Royal George Hotel - Six Degrees. 

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