Bridge Hotel, 197-199 Watton Street, Werribee
197-199 Watton Street,
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The Bridge Hotel is a stylish 1920s building with architectural detailing relating to the Art Deco style combined with some more conventional elements. It is a two storey building, externally rendered, with a tiled hip roof. Leadlight windows and some interior features also remain. It is a complex and interesting design. The later addition of a shelter for the drive-in bottle shop is not in sympathy.
The Bridge Hotel in Watton Street, on the corner of Werribee Street, was built about 1926 on the site of the historic 19th century bluestone Camp Hotel. The earlier hotel, which it replaced, was recorded in the earliest Wyndham Road District rate book and was owned by Patrick Murphy. The old hotel was associated with the Murphy family until the turn of the century when it became the property of the Carlton Brewing Company. It was rated at this time as the Camp Hotel, stables and store, on one and a half acres of land in Watton Street. Michael Balfour was the hotelkeeper, as he had been from the late 1880s.
The new hotel erected on the site in the middle 1920s was named the Bridge Hotel, as it is still known today. Arthur Fry was associated with the changes that took place between 1925 and 1926, when the valuation of the building on Allotments 1, 2 and 3 in Block 6 in Watton Street increased from £280 in 1925-26 to £600 (reduced on appeal to £500) in 1926-27. The corner allotment was rated for the first time in the latter assessment.
In more recent times, the ownership of the Bridge Hotel passed to the Kelly family. By the 1930s, Miss Ina Kelly was recorded as the owner and M.J.O. Dawson as the occupier of the Watton Street hotel on Allotments 1-3 and part of 10 in Werribee Street. The valuation was £430. There may have been some alterations and additions at this time and more substantial ones in the 1950s when Michael Raphael of Essendon became the new owner. The valuation of the hotel, listed at 201 Watton Street, rose following the transfer to Raphael on 19 August 1954 to £973.