Hotel Windsor & John Simpson Mackennal 'Peace & Plenty' Public Art

Other Name

Grand Hotel

Location

103-137 Spring Street, MELBOURNE, MELBOURNE CITY

File Number

B0423

Level

State

Statement of Significance

The Windsor Hotel in Spring Street was originally known as the Grand Hotel and later as the Grand Hotel Coffee Palace.
The significant portion of the building consists of the main wing erected in two stages in the 1880's. An earlier section from Little Collins Street to approximately the main entrance was constructed by Thomas Cockran for George Nipper in 1883-4. The architect was Charles Webb, The later section which includes the domes to the towers dates from 1887-8 and the architects were Charles Webb & Sons.
This is the grandest of Australia's great nineteenth century hotels. Its features, including the facade, restaurant, staircase, lifts and wide corridors, give a charm and quality that make the Windsor unique amongst Melbourne hotels. It has accommodated many notable guests during its long history.
It remains Charles Webb's largest work and epitomizes his boom classical style. The long Spring Street facade is a focal point of the State Offices and Parliament precinct.
Several alterations have taken place in the interior and the ground floor arcade to Spring Street has been enclosed. The cast iron balustrades crowning the domes have been replaced.
Excluded from the classification are the more recent internal alterations and included in the exclusions is the enclosure of the Spring Street verandah and the building on the corner of Spring and Bourke Streets. Special note is to be made of the staircase and the lifts.
Classified: 28/09/1972

Public Art: 'Peace and Plenty'over main entrance.
Statement of Significance: The sculpture is significant as a rare surviving example of the artist's work and as a rare surviving example of a scale of architectural sculpture once common in Melbourne.It is also significant as an integral and original decorative component of the 1888 extensions to the former Grand Hotel, recognised as 'the grandest of Australia's great nineteenth century hotels...The long Spring Street facade is a focal point of the State Offices and Parliament precinct'.
The sculpture is significant as symbolising the social and economic optimism of Victoria's boom years of the 1880s, which dubbed the city 'Marvellous Melbourne'.
Classified: 03/07/1996

Group

Recreation and Entertainment

Category

Hotel