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Barrier Reef Hotel

Abbott Street, Cairns

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Barrier Reef Hotel from Abbot St (1995) ; EHP

Barrier Reef Hotel from Abbot St (1995)

Barrier Reef Hotel Cairns (2015); Heritage Branch Staff

Barrier Reef Hotel Cairns (2015)

This two-storey reinforced concrete hotel was named The Empire, when it was built in 1927. It replaced an earlier timber hotel of the same name, which had fallen into disrepair. By 1925, the licencing commission demanded the hotel be rebuilt in brick. Owner PJ Doyle commenced building in April 1926. Doyle was an accountant, commission agent and general agent who had operated from Thursday Island from 1889.The hotel was designed by local architects Lawrence and Lordan in conjunction with Richard Hill, and was built by local contractor CP Jorgensen. The site adjacent to the wharves had always drawn clientele from workers and travellers alike, and the construction of a new modern hotel only improved the trade. The name was changed to the Barrier Reef Hotel in May 1960. PJ Doyle Wine and Spirits Pty Ltd maintained an interest in the property until the mid-1970s but by that time the hotel had fallen again into disrepair with the license suspended briefly in 1974. Since the mid-1970s the hotel and adjacent sites, including the former Jack & Newell Building, have been amalgamated as a re-development site. The building still functions as a hotel.

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Coordinates: -16.92487742, 145.77948585

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023