1892 Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace Collins Street


This iconic building was opened in July 1888 as "The Federal Hotel and Coffee Palacewhen "Marvellous Melbourne" was one of the most prosperous and recognisable cities in the world. It opened in the same year as Melbourne's Centennial Exhibition. For many years it was the largest hotel in Australia.

Located on the south-west corner of Collins Street and King Streets, it was originally a temperance hotel without a liquor licence and operated as a coffee hotel, similar to a number of other large hotels in the city. In 1923, The Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace became licensed, and was renamed "The Federal Hotel".

The exterior stucco facades included sculpted figures, with multiple setbacks to relieve its great bulk, dominated by a lofty corner domed turret, and topped by Second Empire mansard roofs. The interior had a huge, four storey lobby with a grand staircase, and impressively appointed dining and entertaining rooms. The hotel had 500 rooms which included 370 guest bedrooms, with a penthouse suite in the tower at the top of the 50m (165 ft) high building.

Over five million bricks were used in its construction. Sadly, the building was demolished in 1973.

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Photograph attributed to Charles Rudd (1841-1901).

Notes from the State Library tell us that this image is "View looking across intersection to a large building, men working on the electrical poles, other people on the footpaths."

This is a digitally retouched reproduction of the original held by the State Library of Victoria. All prints are reproduced without the HOTPRESS watermarks.

Our team of conservators have worked on a high resolution digital image in order to remove blemishes and artifacts such as stains, mould, scratches and damage caused by the handling of the original. We strive to provide authentic representations of the original work that are suitable for enlargements that retain the tones and character of the original.

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