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Iconic Cambridge building set to become a hotel

By Adrian Curtis

An iconic Cambridge building is to be opened up to the public for the first time in years... as a hotel.

Cambridge City Council has granted planning permission for the conversion of the former police and fire station, Hobson House, into a 57 all-suite luxury boutique hotel and tearoom.

Hobson House could be turned into a luxury hotel. (13074008)
Hobson House could be turned into a luxury hotel. (13074008)

Operating under the Rogue City Hotels brand, it will see key features of the Grade II-listed building preserved, restored and opened up to the public after decades in various uses.

Hobson House was built in 1901 on St Andrew’s Street and sits on a site that is connected to a charity founded by Thomas Hobson, the 17th century Cambridge philanthropist from where the phrase ‘Hobson’s Choice’ derives.

Over the years, the building has functioned as a workhouse, a gaol for the university, a police and fire station and, more recently, as council offices.

Dexter Moren Associates (DMA), which is carrying out the conversion, says the scheme is a chance to enhance and reveal hidden architectural features.

The project has been led by DMA partner Paul Wells who said: “Hobson House is an architectural gem located in Cambridge’s historic city centre, with many fantastic original features local people may be unaware of. Sadly, since its conversion to office use in the 1960s the building has suffered from chronic under-investment and many of its original features have been denied the care they deserve.

“Now that our hotel proposal has been granted permission, clients Henley can give the building a new lease of life, not only helping to serve the needs of the city’s many visitors, but also preserving and restoring it for the residents to embrace and be truly proud of.”

The building’s courtyard will be enclosed to become a tearoom while the original ornate entrance hall and stone staircase will be retained alongside the former chief constable’s office.


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