Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace (demolished) - 555 Collins Street. MELBOURNE [Walking Melbourne Building Information]
Walking Melbourne

Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace: 555 Collins Street, MELBOURNE

Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace
Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace
Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace
Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace
Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace

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Building Profile

Name : Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace

Location

Address: 555 Collins Street
City: MELBOURNE

Postcode: 3000


Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace was a landmark

Construction Details

Built: 1888 - 1890
Original use: Club/Hotel/Coffee Palace
Current use: Not Used or Not Applicable

Built in the Victorian period in the Second Empire style

Notable features

Promoted by a company formed in 1885, coffee palaces and temperance hotels sprang up in Marvellous Melbournes city and numerous inner suburbs. The Federal Hotel was the grandest of all Coffee Palaces, and superceeded even the Grand Hotel (now the Windsor) in its exhuberance.

7 kilometres of bell-wire, 26 kilometres of skirting, eight kilometres of gas piping and more than five million bricks made the Federal Coffee palace a massive structure. The Federal Hotel combined almost every historic style into an eccentric second empire composition.

History

At the time it was built, it was one of the largest and ornate city buildings in the Second Empire style in the world. It served as a major tourist accomodation centre for many years before being demolished in the 1970s. The Federal had seven floors crowned by and iron-framed domed tower. Bedrooms were on the top five floors, while the majestic ground and first floors contained majestic dining, lounge, sitting, smoking, writing and billiard rooms. There were six accident proof lifts, gaslights, electric service bells, and an ice-making plant in the basement to keep kitchen supplies fresh, and to cool the lemonade and ginger beer. The Federal was licensed in 1923 and demolished in 1973.

Architect: William Pitt


This building has been destroyed (1973)

The former Federal Coffee Palace served as a major tourist accomodation centre for many years before being demolished in the 1970s to make way for speculative office development.

Thousands of people turned out to see the Federal Hotel goodbye when it was demolished in 1973.

The demolition of the Federal Hotel Coffee Palace was probably the worst case of urban vandalism in Melbournes brief history.

The site is currently occupied by a carpark and low set concrete office, and the Federal Coffee Palace joined the ranks of Marvellous Melbourne mythology.



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