A chunk of the historic bridge may have been found hiding in the Kirribilli hotel. When Jean-Claude Branch started renovation on the Glenferrie Lodge, he found something hiding underneath the floorboards.
Strangely, beneath one of the rooms in the hotel lay a mysterious hot-riveted steel beam, used to hold up the floor. Definitely not keeping in the décor of the hotel’s original architecture. Mr Branch explains:
I’m going with the story that the steel fell off the back of a truck on its way to the bridge, and they ended up building this building with it, given the day I haven’t anyone to ask about it.
The large beam was found in the hotel’s second building which was built in 1932, the same year the harbour bridge was opened.
“It’s far too big for the purpose,” he said.
“It’s 50cm deep, and it’s not a very large building. You would never use this type of construction in a house. Generally, houses back in the day were built out of timber and brick, but never hot-riveted steel.”
The hotel is heritage listed, and the beam is exposed under a glass panel for guests to see. Mr Branch works to maintain Victorian properties owning two other in the area: Dalziel Lodge and Cremorne Point Manor.
He believes the history of the hotels is worth maintaining for the guests and the local community.
“When you travel you want to have a story, you want to have an experience,” Mr Branch said.