Built in 1866 by Archibald Clements, the original Masonic hotel was the first commercial building built in Cambridge.  It was built on a one acre section on Duke Street, in the heart of the new town.  Even then, the hotel, with its on-site stables, was described as having first class accommodation for private families and travelers without peer in the region.

As Cambridge grew, the hotel also grew getting several additions and extensions.  The hotel became an important gathering place for the community for local events, occasions and celebrations. 

Candles and oil lamps where the only form of lighting which meant fires were a continual risk.  The hotel survived a number of fires including being scorched by a major fire in 1889 which claimed 13 buildings around the hotel.
On the 13th November 1911, Archibald Clements’ original hotel was destroyed by fire.

The new owner, Victor Cornaga, wasted no time in commissioning renowned architect, John Currie, to rebuild Clements’ hotel to be even larger and more grand than the previous hotel.  He didn’t disappoint with his Beaux-Arts styled hotel, with large proportions, a sweeping timber staircase, stained glass windows, multiple fireplaces and arched latticed doorways.  The new hotel was re-opened to  the public with much fanfare on the 30th October 1912.

Since 1866, these two hotels have stood tall as the epicenter of Cambridge life, together they have served as a silent witness to over a 150 years of history. These cherished landmarks have poured innumerable glasses, served countless meals, held thousands of events, and hosted thousands of guests along the way. 

Archibald Clements Founder

Archibald Clements, Founder

John Currie Architect

John Currie, Architect