The Federal Coffee Palace, erected at the height of the temperance movement was one of the largest and tallest buildings in Melbourne in 1888. It became a licensed hotel in the 1920s, and was demolished in 1972 to make way for an office development.
A coffee palace was an often large and elaborate temperance hotel built In Australia particularly in the boom years of the 1880s.
They were hotels that did not serve alcohol, built as part of the temperance movement and, in particular, the influence of the Independent Order of Rechabites in Australia. The larger Coffee Palaces included all the facilities of a grand hotel, such as a large number of rooms for accommodation as well as dining rooms, billiard rooms, lounges and parlours.
Melbourne Coffee Palace, one of the earliest, including interior views in 1881
Designed to compete with hotels by 'offering all the ordinary advantages of those establishments without the allurements of the drink', the coffee house movement originated in Scotland in the 1830s under the auspices of temperance societies. The Temperance movement in Australia was established shortly after, for instance, the temperance society in Melbourne was formed in 1837.
In Victoria, politician James Munro was a particularly vocal member of the temperance movement, and many other upstanding members of the community formed companies to build Coffee Palaces in their local area.
The first coffee palace companies were founded in the late 1870s in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. The movement in particular flourished in Melbourne in the 1880s, then in the throes of a 'land boom', with land rising steeply in value and large buildings built to capitalise on that value. This coincided with the popularity of what is now called High Victorian architecture, lavish buildings with richly ornamented facades and interiors, usually Renaissance Revival, perhaps combined with Second Empire elements.
Coffee Palaces were built in the central city of Melbourne, in the major suburbs, and in country towns across Victoria, catering for patrons who wanted the advantage of a fine hotel without the dangers associated with alcohol consumption on the premises.
The boom soon bust, and the coffee palaces lost custom to licensed hotels they were sometimes built to compete with, while others were built for patrons that never came, and so many went bankrupt within 10 years. Some were converted into guest houses or private hotels, while others applied for liquor licences. As large Victorian era hotels with numerous small rooms, those that had not continued as hotels often became low quality boarding houses by the mid 20th century, and a large number were demolished from the 1950s-1970s; however, some significant examples still survive, though very few still operate as hotels. The most famous survivor is the Hotel Windsor, originally the Grand Coffee Palace 1886, which gained a licence in the 1920s, and is Australia's major surviving grand 19th century hotel.
Coffee Tavern No 2, 516-518 Flinders Street, 1880. Closed 1897, became a warehouse then offices, then a licensed brothel in 1990. 
McCaughans Coffee Palace, Spencer Street, Melbourne, 1891, now Great Southern Hotel.
Victoria Coffee Palace, Collins Street adjacent to the Town Hall, 1880 (as the Victoria Club). The Collins Street frontage was demolished when the town hall was extended in the 1920s, but the Little Collins Street part, built 1880s and 1920s, survives as the Victoria Hotel 
Collingwood Coffee Palace (originally proposed as Fitzroy Coffee Palace and Workers Club), 232 Smith Street, Fitzroy (named Collingwood despite actually being on the Fitzroy side of the street), 1879. In the early 20th century floors added and subsumed into a department store, of which only the facade remains propped atop a supermarket.
Hawthorn Coffee Palace, Burwood Road Hawthorn near Glenferrie Road, demolished.
Geelong Coffee Palace, originally Macks Hotel, Brougham Terrace (formerly Corio Terrace), refurbished and reopened as a Coffee Palace in 1888, name returned to Mack's Hotel (still without a licence) in 1891, demolished
Imperial (Hobart) Coffee Palace, Hobart, Tasmania (built in two sections, firstly in the 1880s then extended in 1910. Cast iron verandah, balcony and mansard roof were removed during the 1950s and the 1910 extension was demolished in the 1960s)
Tasmanian Coffee Palace, Hobart, Tasmania, 89 Macquarie St (established in Ingle Hall which was built c1814). Also known as Norman's Coffee Palace, the Orient, and Anderson's. Now home to the Mercury Print Museum.
Shield's Temperance Hotel (Shield's Coffee Palace), 77 Esplanade, Launceston, Tasmania. Ironically established in the former Burten Brewery in 1859, the building was eventually reduced in size as the Monds Flour Mills expanded in the early 20th century with the building finally being demolished in the 1950s.
Burnett's Coffee Palace and Temperance Hotel (Perth's first 'Coffee Palace', although the building, constructed c1834, was previously the (licensed) Devonshire Arms, prior to that The Mason's Arms), corner Hay and Barrack Streets, diagonally opposite Town Hall, Perth
Ellis's Grand Central Coffee Palace (still standing as the Grand Central Hotel), Wellington St, Perth
^Cohen, Kay; Donovan, Val; Kerr, Ruth; Kowald, Margaret; Smith, Lyndsay; Stewart, Jean; Royal Historical Society of Queensland (issuing body) (2014), Lost Brisbane : and surrounding areas 1860-1960, Brisbane, [Queensland] Royal Historical Society of Queensland, with QBD The Bookshop, ISBN978-0-10-101888-3
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