When the Empire Hotel opened adjacent to Orange Grove along the River Avon in 1901, it was a grand experience to be a guest. The Renaissance design by Major Charles Edward Davis, then the City Architect, was commissioned by Alfred Holland. It features an octagonal tower on one end and a plaster, allegory relief on the other. Inside, the first floor decor had coffered ceilings, Corinthian columns and fireplaces together with bars, a drawing room and a dining room. In 1966, the building was converted into apartments.