Monday, November 30, 2015

Grosvenor Hotel, George St

Brisbane architect JR Hall designed this hotel, and it was erected in 1881-2 in the then increasingly popular George St. Its position on the corner of Ann St was close to the magnificent Supreme Court building of the day, and no doubt the court system contributed plenty of customers.

(Photo: SLQ 43455)

The hotel still stands and is still operating as a hotel, although I doubt that JR Hall could have envisaged the changes that have taken place. The roof line has been changed and, as with many of our older hotels, the lovely wrought iron balconies have been removed. I wonder who could possibly think that large air-conditioning units would look better than a balcony with wrought iron features.

And the exterior changes aren't the only ones that may have flummoxed JR Hall if he suddenly re-appeared in Brisbane. "Cold Beer Hot Girls" says the main sign above the awning. Yes, the Grosvenor promotes itself as having Brisbane's only topless bar. Other signs saying "Showbar" and "Gentlemen's Club" are also prominent, leaving us all in no doubt as to the type of establishment it is. Far be it for me to pass judgement on this place, but I am surprised that a T&A venue could operate so prominently in today's ultra politically correct environment.
(Photo: © 2015 the foto fanatic)

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  1. It would take very little effort, I think, to put back the lacework on the balconies and the slim pillars, box in the air conditioning and restore the canopies to striped iron. I would also get rid of that horrible poo-brown coloured paint.

    The advertising might defeat you, sadly.

  2. It sure looks more ugly today.

    1. Agreed. And it could have looked so good.

      If I had my druthers I'd apply the changes recommended above.

  3. Here's a photo I took of The Grosvenor in the early 1980s. I remember that soon after I took this photo, it was converted into a McDonalds.

    Fell free to add this photo to your post, if you like.

    1. Thanks Davos. Interesting comparison photo.
      I'll let readers click through to your post if they wish.

  4. I worked at that hotel when I was a UNI student in 1998. Back then it was a Mcdonalds. It has an old blocked off tunnel in the basement that was said to travel under the Brisbane river and out to boundary road in west end. I've seen the tunnel, which was bricked off a few meters into it. Any truth to the story ?

    1. I've not heard that before and there is little to support it in the information I have seen. I think it is more likely to be a blocked off cellar.
      Thanks for the comment.


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