Normanby Hotel - History in Pictures
The historic Normanby Hotel, which sits on the corner of Musgrave Road and Kelvin Grove Road in the Brisbane suburb of Red Hill, has been a distinctive landmark since the building's construction in 1890. An earlier building, also named the Normanby Hotel, existed on the site from the 1872.
The new Normanby Hotel was officially opened on December 1, 1890 with an inaugural dinner hosted by the leaseholder William Valentine. Guests at the dinner included the local MP for Enoggera James George Drake and John Thomas Annear, MLA for Maryborough. Following the opening The Telegraph newspaper reported on the features of the building design, concluding that - "The whole building is Elizabethan in character, adapted to the peculiar conditions of our time and climate, and forms a conspicuous and pleasing relief to the dull monotony of the surrounding style of architecture. The building, which cost nearly £4,000, is from the design of Messrs. Nicholson and Wright, architects, Adelaide street, and has been erected by Mr Thos Game ".
Over the years the hotel became a popular pub with locals, as well as hosting various nightclubs and bands in the downstairs bar. During the 1990's the Normanby became known as a venue for Brisbane's gothic and alternative subcultures with nightclubs such as Abyss, Arcadia, Dominion, Midian, Dark Entries and the Fiendish Fair proving popular. The hotel also at one time featured a drive-in bottleshop.
Along with the beautiful exterior of the building many patrons past and present have fond memories of the beer garden and in particular the large fig tree. On June 8, 2016 the tree collapse during a rain storm, leading to an outpouring of grief and nostalgia on social media. The exact age of the tree is unknown with some speculating its age as over 100 years.
- Normanby Hotel - Queensland Heritage Register includes a detailed history as well the highlighting the significance of the building.
- 28652 Professional and Business Archive of Allom Lovell Architects 1978-2011 held by State Library of Queensland, contains an assessment report of the building which was written in 2000 (not available online) as well as digitised photographs of the hotel (available through One Search).