Our Hotel History, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
Designed by Ian Dunn of the Dunedin architectural practice Miller, White and Dunn, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City was originally called Cargill House. It was completed in 1970 for the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department.
One of the first tenants, Commercial Bank of Australia, commissioned the mural which now hangs in the hotel lobby. The wall frieze was discovered in 2003, when the building was purchased by Scenic Circle Hotels and converted into a 110-room hotel with restaurant, bar and conference room.
Scenic Hotel Dunedin City was opened in July 2004.
Scenic Circle rebranded to become Scenic Hotel Group in 2009, bringing two distinct brands to the accommodation market – the four star and four star plus Scenic Hotels, and the three star and three star plus Heartland Hotels.
In 2010, the 8th floor of Scenic Hotel Dunedin City was converted to 12 accommodation rooms and suites, with balcony views across Dunedin City and the harbour. Pure New Zealand wool carpets were specially designed for the refurbishment and carried throughout the hotel by 2012.
Scenic Hotel Dunedin City prides itself on its collection of original New Zealand artwork. More than $70,000 worth of art adorns the public spaces of the hotel, dating from the 1930s to the current year.
The mural mounted on the wall at Reception was created in 1970 by Fred Staub (b. 1919), a Dunedin sculptor. Staub directed creation of moulds which were then filled with crushed red bricks and white cement at Fletcher Construction’s Parry Street yard to produce separate, pre-cast concrete panels. These were then assembled to form the mural. It represents southern New Zealand industries and reflects the optimism and energy of the city at that time.
Other artwork includes traditional paintings and mixed media on board, paper and canvass, and earthenware and ceramics.