The Black Eagle hotel was licensed on the site at the corner of Pirie Street and Hindmarsh Square from 1859. It was built for Benjamin Da Costa. Later, the hotel was known as the Marquis of Queensbury and then from 1894 as the Aurora. The painter Hans Heysen was a regular visitor in the 1900’s and his paintings could be seen there. The hotel had a long association with German migrants, who were also members of the German Club and Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
When the hotel was proposed for heritage protection n 1982, the Adelaide City Council declined to approve the listing as development plans for the site, which the Council had purchased, were already underway. The plans to redevelop the site of the Aurora Hotel and the ultimate demolition of the hotel in 1983 created one of the most highly contested heritage debates of the 1980’s. The campaign to save the hotel was ultimately unsuccessful and a new low-rise office tower was erected on the site.
The case of the Aurora Hotel is well documented in Dr Sharon Mosler’s Heritage Politics in Adelaide which is available as an e-book.