(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #1865)
This opulent-looking establishment was designed by eminent architect Richard Gailey for Brisbane hotelier National Corrigan, replacing Corrigan's earlier hotel of the same name. The original hotel on the site was erected in 1865, and Corrigan had this one built in 1888. The State Government's cultural heritage pages state: The Empire was constructed by Smith and Ball Contractors and the first publican was Walter McFarlane. The hotel extended 130 ft (39 m) along Ann Street and 120 ft (36 m) along Brunswick Street, and contained over sixty rooms." Renovations to the hotel were undertaken by Richard Gailey Jnr in 1925, and then by Hall & Phillips in 1937. The second renovation saw part of the Ann St frontage removed for the construction of apartments. The apartments were torn down in the 1960s. Here is a photograph from 1994 showing the smaller Ann St dimensions.(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #94768)
The Valley went through the doldrums after large suburban shopping malls appeared in Brisbane, but now it has rediscovered itself as the live music and entertainment precinct of Brisbane. The Empire Hotel is at the vanguard of all of that, and my recent photograph of the hotel is below.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)
Click here to visit the Empire's funky web site. (Hint: turn your speakers down!) :-)
Click here for a Google Map.
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