The Prince Hotel
Architect: Robert H McIntyre 1936, Alan Powell 1998, IF Architecture 2019
Inner South | IS15
The Prince was the first venue in Melbourne to truly embrace the gay and lesbian scene, and was patronised by the gay community from its opening in 1937. In the 1970s, popular drag show Pokeys took up the entire first floor, regularly drawing crowds of 1000 people.
During World War II the Prince housed the United States military officers’ club. The presence of strapping American soldiers attracted many curious Australian women to the area which quickly became the red light district of Melbourne.
In the late 90s, the complex was reimagined by acclaimed architect Alan Powell. Twenty-five years on, the new vision is to create a web of interconnecting experiences to allow patrons to continue to explore and embrace the Prince. Many of the hotel’s original design features have been uncovered and are being lovingly restored or reinvented through the redevelopment process.
Tours led by Iva Foschia, Principal at IF Architecture discussing the history and future plans for the site and current renovation of the ground floor public bar under construction, bookings essential. Or drop in during Open House Weekend for a self-guided tour of the contemporary Prince Dining Room and the original Public Bar currently under construction.
Need to Know
Open: Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July 10am–4pm
Tour Type: Open Entry, Self-guided + Bookings Required, $5
Tour Details: Saturday tours at 10.30am, 11.30am and 12.30pm, running for 30 minutes in groups of 30
Access: Limited mobility, all ages.
Notes: ID required for entry, refreshments available, toilets available
Building Type: Commercial
Architecture Era: Interwar (1919-1940)
Transport: Tram stop: Jacka Bvd/Fitzroy St on routes 3/3a, 16, 96
Photo Credit: Sharyn Cairns
2 Acland Street, St Kilda 3182, St Kilda VIC