Hipstamatic postcards from California Hotel

“Ho-Cal”, as I have affectionately dubbed it.

California Hotel, in Hawthorn, was built on the site of the Barkly train station, which closed in 1957.  The hotel closed it’s doors in April 2008, and has gradually been vandalised and graffitied since then.

Thorney Properties bought the motel in 2007, and were expected to start redeveloping the following year, but the site remains derelict.  There were plans to build an 82-room aged care facility on the site, but I don’t know what is happening with it now.  This is the most recent report I could find, but this was a year-and-a-half ago.

Unfortunately I only got around to visiting this once-prime urbex spot yesterday.  Some of my flickr contacts took some great photos in 2009 when it wasn’t so trashed.  I wish I’d known about it back then, before the original hotel wall murals were painted over.

Check out TigTab’s photos of the California Hotel, particular the before-and-after collage.

Also this wonderful photo of a woman on her honeymoon standing in front of the swimming pool in 1964, from museumvictoria.com.au:


photograph by Konstantinos Papadimitropoulos, from Museums Victoria site.

I’ll post some SLR shots soon.

x Kitten of Doom


~ by Kitten of Doom on March 21, 2011.

6 Responses to “Hipstamatic postcards from California Hotel”

  1. WOW – Hotel California 1964 style is totally gorgeous! I lived in Hawthorn in the early 2000s, and even then we made jokes about what happened to peeps who checked out but could never leave…

  2. Thanks.

  3. Wow, those are some pretty amazing shots. There is a certain sadness and curiosity that I feel towards run down buildings like this. That building could of housed someone’s favorite memory and now it is in a state of degradation. A bit sad.

  4. there is another hotel in melbourne… well not exactly in melbourne but near that is derelict… although now its under re-development/demolition won’t name it but have pictures still have to get aroung to making a website lol

    • Just create a flickr account (http://www.flickr.com), it’s easiest. There is a link to mine on the right-hand side of my blog.

      I think I know which hotel you’re talking about; if so, I work across the road. Are you talking inner-suburbs? Or does “not exactly in Melbourne” mean rural?

  5. Late to the party, but…I was in there today taking some photos, and got rumbled by the demolition crew. Turns out they were pretty cool guys, and told me to wander around and take as long as I liked. They also told me the site has been cleaned of asbestos and is scheduled for final demolition in a matter of weeks…

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