Gorman House, Canberra – Fact sheet 168

Gorman House, Canberra, 1974
Gorman House, Canberra, 1974
(A7971, CT35/10)

Construction commenced on the hostel known to early Canberra as Gorman House in 1924. Originally known as 'Hostel No. 3', or the 'Hotel Ainslie', the hostel was renamed 'Gorman House' in 1927, after Clarence Gorman, an early Federal Capital Commissioner, who had died suddenly earlier that year. Gorman House was designed primarily to accommodate lower paid public servants.

A well-known landmark of inner Canberra, Gorman House operated as a hostel until the 1970s. It has subsequently become a popular centre for theatre and the creative arts.

Records relating to Gorman House

The Archives in Canberra holds a considerable range of records including files, photographs, architectural plans and drawings which relate to the design, construction and subsequent maintenance of Gorman House. Samples of these are listed below.

Correspondence files

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
ItemHostel for lower paid officials – Gorman House, Ainslie Avenue1923–24A414, 12 part 3
ItemGorman House1925–29CT86/1, 51
ItemGorman House – tenders for additions to superstructure1927A6269, E1/27/2508
ItemProposed tennis courts at Gorman House1930–31A430, G116
ItemGorman House – dogs – housing of1933A1, 1933/5186


Architectural plans & drawings

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesAperture cards for ACT architectural plans and drawings1921–59*A9663
ItemGorman House – ground floor planundatedA9663, AF124
ItemGorman House – Centre Administration block – pavilion for single and married couplesundatedA9663, A608A
ItemGorman House – elevations and sectionsundatedA9663, A669
ItemGorman House – additions to ground floor –west and north elevationsundatedA9663, 9991
ItemGorman House – plan of alterations and additions to kitchenundatedA9663, 21904
ItemGorman House – alterations and renovations to the kitchenundatedA9663, 22789

Other plans of Gorman House

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
ItemAmended designs for pavilion 4, Hostel No.3 (AC592)1925–31A2503, folder 3
ItemAmended design for kitchen block, Hostel No. 3 (AC596)1925–31A2503, folder 3
ItemGorman House – ground floor plan1925–30A2505, AF124
Item1 ½ inch scale detail of fireplace – sitting room, Pavilion No 1. Hostel No 31926–30A2504, AD34

* Most items in these series are not individually dated. The series date range provides some indication of when individual items were created.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019