The Black Eagle Hotel opened for busuness in 1853 in a building that combined two houses built in 1850. William Brandt was the first licensee. It remained in private hands until 1882 when it was purchased by the Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company. From this time till its final closure in 1908 its trade would have profited greatly from the acitvity at the infamous Madame Brussel's brothel, two doors along the street. In the 20th century it was principally used as a printing works. It is the oldest surviving building in the area once known as "Little Lon", and, together with the Oddfellow Hotel, is of immense significance in explaning the society that once existed in the poorest quarter of Melbourne.