History of the Ballroom
The Terminus Hotel (as it was known at the time) was built in 1857 opposite St Kilda’s newly opened railway station.
By the 1860’s, the beach side suburb of St Kilda had grown to become one of Melbourne’s most popular suburbs. It was during this period that the building was renamed ‘The George Hotel’.
In 1885, Architect H. B. Gibb was engaged to design an extension for the hotel. Built in renaissance revival style and featuring an iconic circular corner tower, this iconic building (pictured) is what most people instantly think about when the George building is mentioned.
The George Ballroom
The following year, H.B Gibb would design the building’s dining room. A large decorated Victorian space that could accommodate the hotels ever growing number of guests.
This dining room would eventually become The George Ballroom.
The Crystal Ballroom
By the late 1950’s St Kilda had started to attract a rougher crowd, and the building changed hands. It’s new owners updated the building to attract a new, trendier crowd.
The George Ballroom became The Crystal Ballroom, a music venue that accommodated famous bands including INXS, Blondie, Midnight Oil, Nick Cave and the Violent Femmes.
The venue was later renamed the Seaview Ballroom, before closing it’s doors in the late 1980s.
Redevelopment into Apartments
In 1987, the building was acquired by Donlevy Fitzpatrick, who began working on an extensive restoration of the building in the early 1990s. Much of the buildings original decoration was carefully reproduced at this time.
In 2013, the George Ballroom suffered extensive water damage to it’s intricate ceiling. This required re-in-statement. Heritage Victoria assisted in sourcing specialist contractors who were able to preserve the ballrooms features while retaining it’s stressed appearance.
Despite this restoration, the building has not been modernised at all. The original Mark Douglas designed and fabricated glass pendant lights remain, as does the magnificent mirror in it’s elaborate gilded frame. It is meant to feel exactly like it did back in 1886.