Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

Empire Hotel


Mr. Kirkpatrick


Pitt Street


Built- 1887   Demolished- ca. 1970


Victorian Mannerist Queen Anne


Rendered brick Stone


Summary Built on the site of the The Currency Lass hotel
Above- the original form.
Pitt Street looking south
Above- after the extension
Above- more recently on the site.

During the past six or seven years the City of Sydney has, particularly from a builder's point of view, very considerably changed. Old shanties have been pulled down, stately residences which occupied half of this dominion have been condemned, mid horn and there a well-known hotel has had to make way for buildings of mare modern style. And instance, look at that very structure at the corner of Pitt and Hunter streets, erected upon the site of the old Currency Lass. The Currency Lass 50 years ago was the first hotel the traveller going though from what is now the Circular Quay met with in its earlier days, and on its George-street side" was a vacant piece of land, upon which cattle sales were hold and an occasional circus show was given; but as the neighbourhood grew the Currency Lass became of more importance; but it could not keep pace with the rapid strides made by advancing enterprise, and consequently had in its turn to give way in order that more commodious and mare modern premises could occupy the, valuable site.

The Empire Hotel is the name given to the now hotel which is now built upon the site; the building from plans by Mr. Kirkpatrick, a lengthy description of which has already appeared in the Herald. The style of architecture is the Queen Anne, a style which may has seen in other parts of Sydney. The building is particularly adapted for a hotel-the rooms are all lofty and possess plenty of light, besides a perfect system of ventilation. Upon the basement floor is a well-appointed billiard room with two of Alcock's tables. There is also a private billiard room upstairs ; the cellar adjoins the billiard-room, and if not by any moans' the least important apartment in the building.

On the ground floor will be seen two bars-that public and private-the latter is a very large and lofty room, and the walls are picked out with some excellent" stencil work, with a dado running right round; the furniture and fittings are on an elaborate scale, Along a large window the visitor cannot help but rending a very appropriate motto, "Nuno vino pollito curus nunc est,bibondum sapios vina liques." The public bar, which I immediately on the corner, is also very neat and comfortable. Hero the fittings are also of the best kind, and all to match. Upon the first floor is a spacious dining-room, well furnished and splendidly decorated, off which is a commodious smoking-room, where the daily papers and periodicals can be seen. A public drawing-room with piano, and furnished, in the best style, is also on this floor.

On the next floor, which extends over the offices of the Colonial Mutual Insurance Company, are a number of bedrooms. Lavatories and bathroom on every floor, both for ladies and gentlemen. There are in all about 60 rooms, 35 of which are bedrooms. The kitchen and scullery are (at the top floor, consequently no smells inseparable from kitchens can ever annoy the visitor). In this department is to be seen every convenience; the dinners are Bent down in lifts to the dining rooms. In connection with the cuisine is a hot press, where all joint«, sauces, and soups con be kept warm. The servants' rooms also on the top floor, and on the roof arc the laundry find drying space.

All baths have hot water piped from the boiler in the kitchen. Electric bells are on every floor, A lift for the use of lodgers runs the height of the building; besides which a very wide staircase can be used if preferred. Mr. and Mrs. J, Curran have the management of the Empire, which is sufficient guarantee to intending lodgers that they will be made as comfortable as possible during their stay. Yesterday, at the invitation of the manager, several gentlemen sat down to an excellent luncheon, after which they were shown over the building, and one and all were of no unanimous opinion that the Empire Hotel is second to none in the city, und is likely to secure a good share of public patronage.

SMH 1887