Orrong Hotel, High Street Armadale

The Orrong Hotel is one of the more striking Art Deco pubs in Melbourne, with that stepped corner tower. And the Fosters neon sign is original! Always thought maybe 80s Deco-revival. The rest is mostly intact, but at some point the bricks and speed lines and ‘hotel’ sign rendered over, then later someone painted a vaguely deco line across the top and deco-ish signs. Wouldn’t take much to properly restore. Which they did a bit inside in 2020-21, revealing the corner bar plaster cornices and keeping the bar itself, which is also clearly original – very rare ! A bit of research, and I found that it was built after April 1939, when JH Wardrop was noted as the architect. He’s best known as one of the Shrine architects, but also did the United Kingdom Hotel in Clifton Hill (now McDonald’s), and both hotels are very much inspired by 1930s NSW pubs, much more extensively rebuilt in the 30s than here. Thanks to @chrismbr for the exterior photos, old ones are from the @library_vic. The coloured sign one appears to be a proposal, and seems the vertical one not built. Bar image from the internet.

The State Library has a lot more interior photos, they’re dated 1964, but are probably c1940, when it was finished, or soon after. One shows the bar, which is original and so very rare ! It’s lost its top bottle store thing though. Current photo from hotel website. Then there’s the guest lounge, the dining room, and the cook in the kitchen (!).

2 thoughts on “Orrong Hotel, High Street Armadale

  1. Hi Rohan the artwork with the signs hand coloured was prepared by Claude Neon…not sure whether both got installed but I’d say most likely. It’s more altered than you might initially think…the majority of the ground floor windows and doors are not original…thanks for posting..

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