Visiting Motel Hell in Hawthorn

Welcome to Melbourne’s Motel California: located in Barker Road in the inner eastern suburb of Hawthorn. The 82 room motel was built in 1960 on the site of the former Barker railway station on the closed Kew branch line. Originally known for a variety of different themed suites, when I passed the motel in 2005 it was looking rather dated.

Hawthorn's Motel California in 2005

Fast forward to 2011 and the buildings are well and truly trashed: and now better known as an abandoned building to explore. The motel closed back in April 2008, with the land being sold to Thorney Properties for an an 87-apartment retirement village. The site has since been put back on the market, awaiting demolition for another apartment development.

Hawthorn's Motel California in 2011

Back in 2005 I also wandered around to the back gate, where everything was spic and span.

Hawthorn's Motel California in 2005

In the 2011 view the same view is full of overgrown trees – how did they grow so tall in six years?

Hawthorn's Motel California in 2011

If you want to take a look inside it seems that every man and their dog has gone for a wander through – “Motel Hell” seems to be name it goes by now.

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6 Responses to “Visiting Motel Hell in Hawthorn”

  1. jeff bounds says:

    The wheel has come full circle.
    I also remember the Departmental Residence in Hawthorn Grove.

  2. Braddo says:

    Hello Marcus, never realised we had more than one interest in common! I am fascinated by this place, what a shame it was allowed to deteriorate to this state, many poor/homeless people could have made good use of it.

  3. Andrew says:

    Residence for a time for a much younger than now Jane Clifton, author, comedian etc.

  4. robert says:

    Was a shit hole, full of hookers and druggies

  5. John Curlis says:

    Built by A.P.Vincent Builders, and originally named California Motor Inn.
    My dad was in charge of the construction. I was lucky enough to see it being built as a kid.

  6. […] Over in Hawthorn I found the Motel California […]

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