Well, the rear portion has just been demolished. Underground car parks will go in and the six storeys on top of that. Given modern two storeys are almost equal to one old storey, the addition to the rear shouldn't be much taller than the existing building.
It is quite a handsome building but after looking at some reviews on Trip Advisor, it think it must have been pretty shabby inside. Some people are terribly fussy about accommodation and expect a lot for a little. Once you learn the price, then adjust your expectations accordingly.
There is little about original building online that I can find. Judith Buckrich's book Melbourne's Grand Boulevard informs me that it was once the Misses Quinlan Private Hospital, then by 1918 called Coonara Hospital. I am guessing there was more than one Miss Quinlan.
Most of what I can see in digitised newspapers are death notices of people who died at the hospital. As I read on, I gained a suspicion that the hospital had a connection to the Catholic church. Many nuns and priests spent their last hours at the hospital. This adds further: According to the Argus, the owner and matron, Miss Mollie Quinlan, died in 1934 and a requiem mass was conducted at St Josephs Church, South Yarra. Miss Quinlan was also the head of the Private Hospitals Association.
This photo by Antoinette Birkenbeil shows the building in 1994. By the front fence, I would suggest it wasn't a hotel then.
You can't really see while comparing the photo above with mine below, but there are some differences. Of course the garden has gone and at the base of the building modern windows and doors have been added.
Up the top are second windows that would have acted like double glazing against the noise of cars and trams in St Kilda Road. Yes, there is some photo bombing skywriting. It dissolved before the words were finished.
A few broken pots and dying plants sat on the front terrace. The modern doors led to a convenience store the owners opened a few years ago. This was after the nearby Kings Cross Plaza 711 closed and it was very useful to have the convenience store there for us.
But then another 711 opened at Illoura on the other side of the road and down a bit. Then almost next door, this B convenience store opened and killed off the one at Albert Park Manor. There was a last day sale where remaining stock was sold off for a quarter to half shelf price.
Work began with removing part of the rear roof. I wondered if they were just replacing the roof.
The back ceiling has been removed now.
Brickwork is starting to come down. Note the dark construction site wall built at the front.
Well, they are getting serious about this. How much is being demolished?
Even with watering, there is lots of dust as very old brickwork comes down. Some back roof remains.
Take two. There back roof has gone entirely, with just dormer windows sticking up.
Not much left now, just some shabby blinds and a lot of rubble behind the fence.
All that remains now is the big machine with the site cleared of rubbish and ready to hand over to the builders.
I wonder what Matron Mollie Quinlan would have thought.