The Imperial Hotel, 1942

Art Deco, Buildings

Builder:  Archie McDonald & Sons

Architect:  Harold VM Brown

The Imperial Hotel has been known as many buildings over time, operating as a hotel until the late 1970s. In recent decades it housed the Mackay Permanent Building Society, then Auswide Bank. The Imperial Hotel is important as it retains its largely intact external form as a two-storey hotel constructed in the Art Deco style. It is a great example of Streamline style of Art Deco; it is a design that emerged in the 1930s. It was inspired by aerodynamic design. Streamline architecture emphasized curving forms, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements.

The Imperial Hotel was established in Mackay in 1884, with the original timber building being replaced with the current building in four stages between 1940-42. The current building remained in use as a hotel until approximately 1975 when a building permit was issued for an “Arcade of shops and Boarding House”. The site was known as the Imperial Arcade and Mackay Townhouse Motel for almost 30 years.

In 1951 Imperial Hotel was sold to WH Paxton & Co for 53,000 pounds. It was the largest property transfer at that time in the city.