The Victoria Hotel, or The Vic as it is commonly known, is a heritage listed pub located in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Built in 1890, it is an important historical building but is currently closed, the Victoria Hotel was built by Ellen Ryan, one of the Territory’s wealthiest women, who owned land and several mining leases. Debross, it was built for £4,000 and was the first stone building in Darwin, the two-storey hotel was made of local, multi-coloured porcellanite stone, with a facade dominated by a parapetted gable and verandahs. Upon completion, the building dominated Smith Street and remained that way for half a century. The hotel opened on 8 September 1890 and it was first called the The Royal Hotel but was renamed the North Australian Hotel a few days after opening. It was renamed the Victoria Hotel in 1896, the Victoria Hotel lost part of its roof and was damaged internally during a cyclone on 6 January 1897. Known as the Great Hurricane, it killed 28 people, sank 19 vessels in the including the entire pearling fleet. Structurally however, the hotel was one of only a few buildings remained intact. In 1908, the hotel accommodated Henry Dutton and Murray Aunger, in 1915, the hotel was one of several to be nationalised by Northern Territory Administrator, John Gilruth. Ross and Keith Smith and other connected with the air race from England to Australia stayed at the hotel in December 1919. Mining entrepreneur May Brown became the first publican win the lease on Darwin’s Victoria Hotel in 1921 when the era of control of Top End hotels came to an end. Christina Gordon took over the hotel in August 1926, Gordon upgraded the Vic Hotel including the refurbishment of a new dining room. She continued the connection with aviators, many of their signatures from the 1920s and 1930s remain on a masonry section in the hotel which has been preserved. The well-known Government architect Beni Burnett, who had a significant influence on Darwin architecture from the late 1930s. The hotel lost its roof for the time in March 1937. Although not as formidable as the 1897 cyclone, it caused considerable damage to the town. During World War II the hotel was occupied by United States, in September 1941, rioting soldiers in the Darwin city area caused superficial damage to the hotel, such as broken windows and furniture. With many troops stationed in Darwin, a fight out in the hotel that quickly spread outside into Smith Street
Darwin's Victoria Hotel in 2008.
'Hotel Victoria, Palmerston, Northern Territory'
Victoria Hotel after cyclone damage in 1897
Inspecting the damage following the soldiers riot of September 1941.