Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey
341 Beaconsfield Parade, St'Kilda
I'm not sure whether the Beaconsfield really belongs, but I remember that just after I left Control Data there was a move away from the College Lawn, brokered in part I think by John Hill, whose family may have been involved in some way. I can remember a couple of nights there when we used a bar off Cowderoy Street, but not whether it really took off.
I can also remember a lunch or two there, but I wouldn't rate it as a major eatery in the overall picture.
Like the Esplanade, Hotel Victoria and lesser extent Bleak House, the Beaconsfield was built to attract tourists and visitors the pleasures of the Bay and the baths that were once dotted along the South Melbourne and St. Kilda foreshores.
The hotel was designed by architect William Pitt and first licensed by James F. Hay, probably in 1879 (the hotel first shows in directories in 1880).
The construction of the hotel was a brave move -
The original design is believed to have been a single storey open colonnade between the two towers with the second level was added a few years later.
Records show that the hotel was constructed on two vacant blocks of land on behalf of William Vail, a Melbourne tailor at a cost of £4,033; Vail was declared insolvent the following year, quoting the cost of mortgages on the hotel as one of the reasons for his difficulties.
Although not under any real threat from the License Reductions Board, the building was extensively altered and extended in 1927 by the architect Harry R Johnson. It was probably at this stage that the original open colonnade across the front was enclosed to extend the hotel, otherwise it varies little from the original design
Perhaps unfairly remembered today as the venue of the tragic death of cricketer David Hookes, the Beaconsfield has retained its name and functions as a traditional hotel, featuring weekly comedy nights and musical entertainment.
|Licenses Reduction Act|
|Six O'Clock Swill|
|Casa de Manana|
|The Light Car Club|