Although Melbourne's APA Building had a higher roof, the Hotel Australia was highest in Australia to its structural top, which included its monumental dome.
After 2 years of construction it opened on July 11, 1891.
Height to arc light spire was 66m above ground.
Its construction featured the finest colonial cedar & ornate staircases from Sicily & Belgium.
Australia's tallest building on completion.
A money loser during the 1950's and 60's the hotel closed on June 30, 1971.
A 12-storey wing fronting Martin Place was constructed in 1938 adding 300 rooms.
In 1921-22 three floors were added to the roof following the removal of the graceful dome.
The hotel's first guest was actress Sarah Bernhardt and over the years the “Who’s Who” of the entertainment world stayed there, and included: Mark Twain, Laurence Olivier, Katherine Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Taylor, Charlton Heston and Vincent Price.
A marathon auction, the biggest ever in Australia, saw the disposal of the hotel's silverware, cutlery, glassware, linen, tables, 1000 chairs, chandeliers, paintings, statues, carpets, ashtrays, curtains, cabinets, doors and a baby grand piano.
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