A major Maylands landmark, the Peninsula Hotel opened in 1906. It was built by Gus Liebe, who was also the hotel’s owner for several decades. We have a list of the Peninsula Hotel’s licensees from 1911 through to 1954,
This hotel hosted wedding receptions and other functions and has strong links with the sporting history of Maylands.
1920s to 1950s
In 1922, the North Suburban-Maylands Bicycle Club met at the Peninsula Hotel.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the Peninsula Hotel was the starting point for the Maylands Amateur Cycling Club’s annual 50-mile Maylands to Kingsford (Bullsbrook) event.
The 1935 10-mile metropolitan schoolboys cycling championship started from the Peninsula Hotel.
In 1923 and 1924, the newly formed Maylands-Mount Lawley cricket club met at the Peninsula Hotel.
In the 1930s, the West Australian Hunt Club and their hounds assembled at the Peninsula Hotel on Saturday afternoons to go foxhunting.
In 1948, the City of Perth Cycling Club’s Saturday afternoon road races started at the Peninsula Hotel.
The City of Perth Cycling Club’s 1949 road season opened with a 10-mile lap race starting at the Peninsula Hotel. That race was also the start of the season’s consistency trophy for seniors, junior and juveniles.
1970s and 1980s
The long campaign waged in the last decades of the 20th century to prevent demolition of the Peninsula Hotel is well documented in the archives of the Peninsula Association, now held by the Maylands Historical and Peninsula Association.
The first ‘saving of the Peninsula Hotel’ came in 1976 when the Swan Brewery bowed to public pressure and halted demolition work on the hotel. The campaign by The Friends of the Peninsula had enlisted many supporters throughout metropolitan Perth.
The Friends of the Peninsula provided the nucleus for a new group known as the Peninsula Association, which lobbied to have the Peninsula Hotel used as a community centre for non-profit organisations. The City of Stirling (of which Maylands then formed part) and the Western Australian government each contributed $25,000 toward the building refurbishment and replacement of its fittings and fixtures.
When Swan Breweries transferred ownership of the Peninsula Hotel to the Peninsula Association in 1980, the title deed contained no restrictions or restraints on what the building could be used for at that time or in the future. The Peninsula Association had to be self-sufficient and received no financial support from the City of Stirling.
Under the Peninsula Association’s management, the Peninsula Hotel hosted dances and exhibitions and housed a variety of tenants. The Peninsula Association focus on protecting the building resulted in the repainting of some rooms, the rewiring of the building and creation of a self-contained flat for a live-in Warden.
In 1992, eucalypts planted in front of the building in 1976 were lopped to protect the building and the power lines.
In 1992, the newly-formed Maylands Historical Society leased an office at the Peninsula Hotel.
Learning that the WA Lotteries Commission was establishing a Heritage Grants Fund, the Peninsula Association arranged to have Conservation Plan for the Peninsula Hotel prepared by Considine and Griffiths, Architects. The Peninsula Association used the Conservation Plan to support and application to the lotteries Commission Heritage fun for a grant of $53,000 for necessary repairs to the roof of the Peninsula Hotel. Working bees continued.
When the grant application was rejected on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations regarding improper use of monies and the Peninsula Hotel by the Association, the Association met with the Minister and representatives of the Lotteries Commission and managed to gain a grant of $53,000. That represented the second ‘saving of the Peninsula Hotel’ .
The Association gained further Lotteries Commission grants relating to the Peninsula Hotel:
- $81,700 in 1995 for repairs to the dome, miscellaneous carpentry, a new roof and pillars in the courtyard,
- $18,560 in 1997 for tuckpointing,
- $6,100 around 1998 for purchase of a piano, refrigerator and small items of kitchen equipment, and
- $6,000 in 1999 for preparation of a new Conservation Plan by Considine and Griffiths, Architects.
The Association also undertook other work with voluntary labour and at its own expense. The Peninsula Hotel was being used for weddings, parties, concerts, craft shows, open days, photographic shoots for magazines, as the setting for short films and a venue for a ballet set in the old Hotel. Groups leasing office or meeting rooms in the building included Austin Seven Car Club, Colonial Bottle & Collector, Card Collectors Club, German-Australian Society, Humane Society, Maylands Art Group, Maylands Business Group, Maylands Historical Society, Maylands Inter-Agency Group, Maylands RSL Sub-Branch, Maylands Weight Watchers, Maylands Yoga Group, Peninsula Folk Club, Richard III Society, Royal Australian Planner’s Association, Society of St Jude, Timber Floors Association, Tribal Refugees Group, Vauxhall Car Club, Vietnam Veterans Association, WA Folk Federation, WA National Parks and Reserves, Weight Watchers Federation.
Members of the Liebe family attended the 1996 open day celebrating the building’s 90th birthday.
In 1998, when Maylands ceased to be part of the City of Stirling and became part of the City of Bayswater, the Peninsula Association lobbied successfully to have Bayswater Council assume responsibility for the Peninsula Hotel building and a deed of transfer was drawn up.
2000 to present
When usage of the Peninsula Hotel began to decline, the City of Bayswater began to look at options to ensure the building did not become a burden to ts ratepayers. In 2007, it sought expressions of interest for use of the Peninsula Hotel building and Dome group applied for the lease.
Signing of the lease agreement with Dome group in 2008 was the third ‘saving of the Peninsula Hotel’.
The Peninsula Hotel now hosts both a Dome coffee shop and the headquarters of Dome. The Peninsula Hotel’s dining room still hosts meetings of community groups including the Maylands Historical and Peninsula Association.