Chevron Apartments has a rich history which dates to 1934, when Leslie M. Perrott’s design was brought to life in a mere 18 weeks by construction group E.A. Watts. The Chevron Hotel replaced a nineteenth century guest house of the same name and was styled as a ‘country club’ hotel. While originally unlicensed its facilities included an outdoor swimming pool with diving board, a tennis court and a gymnasium. The hotel’s 200 rooms featured some modern touches for the times including ensuite bathrooms – guests could even garage their cars!
Ahead of its time, the hotel had automated modern gas-fired cooking in its kitchens together with automated dishwashing facilities. It generated its own hot water in huge boilers in the basement the remnants of which which can still be seen today. Interestingly the swimming pool still exists but is now buried under the garden where it serves as a rainwater tank feeding the extensive garden irrigation system.
In later years the hotel became the place to be seen, with international stars including Frank Sinatra staying and performing there in the 1950s. Ava Gardner & Gregory Peck stayed at Chevron while filming Stanley Kubrik’s famed feature film ‘On the Beach’ in 1959 (based on the book by Neville Shute). After these highs came a time of somewhat seedier night clubs and at one stage the building was used as nurses quarters by the Alfred Hospital.
Bought by a couple of entrepreneurial Sydney property developers in 2004 the present development came to life soon after, with the original hotel building being transformed into 68 apartments. Three new towers (built in what was the original garage area of the old hotel) house a further 231 apartments (299 in total).