In June 1860 William Perry and his brother, George, arrived in Brisbane where they planned to set up a hardware business.
Their brother Frederick later joined them and by the middle of August the 'Brisbane Courier' carried an advertisement announcing that, "Perry Brothers, Wholesale and Retail Ironmongers, Queen-street, have constantly on hand such essentials as Bullock Bows, Horse Shoes; Cross-cut, Pitsaw and Hand-saw Files, Putty, Pitch and Tar, American Stoves"…. the business thrived.
In 1865 fine new premises were built on Elizabeth Street – the sites of today's Henkelmann's Building and the Irish Club.
When William Perry died in 1891, his eldest son WHF (Herbert) Perry was 27 years old. He and his brother, George, carried on the business founded by their father and uncles. After an initial period of difficult trading in the economic slump and record floods of the 1890s, the business thrived under the management of the Perry brothers. To coincide with their 50thanniversary, on 13 August 1910 Perry brothers announced the construction of Perry House on the corner of Elizabeth and Albert Streets.
The construction of Perry House occupied a considerable period of time, beginning in 1911 and not reaching completion until early 1913. Frequent strikes appear to have slowed progress. Perry House was the highest building in Brisbane on its completion and its construction was followed with great interest by the Brisbane community.
Perry House was then the tallest building in Brisbane with every floor occupied by the Perry Bros business activities and storage of goods. An extra storey was added in 1923. Perry House is still believed to be the tallest timber structure in the southern hemisphere.
In the intervening years, Perry House was used as a commercial building and even by the US Military during WWII.
In 1996 after a substantial redevelopment, the heritage listed Perry House was opened as the Royal Albert Hotel. In keeping with the buildings rich history, the hotel features wide corridors, 12 foot ceilings with detailed ceiling roses and cornicing, with the added bonus of modern amenities. Royal Albert fine china is a feature of the hotel along with the largest collection of original oil paintings by renowned artist William Torrance. To summarise his style, it might be easiest to imagine the lessons of colour and light taught by the impressionists applied to the golden tones of Australian land and seascapes and particularly by the grandeur of maritime art.
Now a leading Brisbane boutique hotel, Royal Albert comprises 73 guest rooms including Deluxe Hotel Rooms (among the largest in Brisbane at 49 square metres), stylish One and Two Bedroom Suites and spacious Sub-Penthouse Apartments. All apartments were beautifully refurbished in November 2008 to reflect the buildings rich heritage. This included elegant mahogany furniture plush fabrics and LCD TV's, DVD's, CD players and clock radios with IPOD docks.