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Hosie's Hotel

There has been a hotel on the north-west corner of Flinders and Elizabeth streets since 1868 when George Thompson leased an 1854 office and bond store and converted it into the Hobsons Bay Railway Terminus Hotel. In 1885 it was purchased by businessman James Hosie, famous for his Scotch Pie House in Bourke Street and his Turkish Bathing Palace. Three years later Hosie sold the hotel for £85 000 to Parer of Parer's Hotel, donating £9000 to the Homeopathic (Prince Henry's) Hospital. For many years, the original Hosie's had its own more sedate version of Young & Jackson's Chloe. Known as Olivia, this fully clothed woman with an enigmatic smile looked down on the bar from a painted fanlight over the door. After a series of owners, including well-known hotelier Jimmy Richardson, Hosie's was eventually sold to Carlton & United Breweries who in 1953 announced plans for a new air-conditioned 13-floor hotel that would provide better accommodation facilities in time for the forthcoming Olympic Games. The old hotel was demolished in August 1953 and the new one completed in 1955. Designed by Mussen, McKay and Potter in the Internationalist style, the new Hosie's was glass-fronted with a podium to harmonise the tower with the streetscape and was decorated with a four-storey mural by Richard Beck. It has since been reduced to a tavern only.

Chrystopher J. Spicer