Melbourne Town Hall: Seat of the Local Government Area

By Christina Kim - September 08, 2015


Walking down the stretch from or towards St Paul's Cathedral, you will definitely pass by this huge building complex located slightly right before the church if you were coming directly from the CBD, from the Swanston Street direction.

This is the central municipal building of the city of Melbourne; also known as the Melbourne Town Hall.



Located between Swanston street and Collins Street on the northeastern corner, the Melbourne Town Hall is the seat of the local government area of the City of Melbourne.
(A formal reference to the town hall would be that of the City of Melbourne, in the State of Victoria, Australia).


Like most town halls, it is in name for the city which also makes it for the multi purpose uses for the city residents.
The Melbourne Town Hall is often the venue for major functions hosting a large crowds; ranging from exhibitions, concerts and plays.

Inspired by the Second Empire design (an era often referred to the Second French Empire period; between the years 1865-1880), the architecture of the Melbourne Town Hall was the combined masterpiece of a prominent local born architect, Joseph Reed and Barnes.
(Joseph Reed also led the designs of a few notable landmarks in the city; the State Library of Victoria, Royal Exhibition Building and the Melbourne Trades Hall).


The first mayor of Melbourne was Henry Condell; in the year 1842, when Melbourne was officially declared as a town by itself.
There was no town hall back then, at least not immediately after the incorporation of the town and it was only a decade later; in 1854, that the first town hall for Melbourne was completed, though it was not without disruption, following the commencement of the ground works in the year 1851.

Works on the establishment were halted due to the Victorian Gold Rush back then which led to a total of five years to erect the very first town hall which was then demolished, to make way for the second improvised town hall, with its first foundation stone laid in 1867 by the then Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred, on one of his visits.

The tower on top of the Town Hall's building is known as the Prince Alfred's Tower, which included a clock, built and imported from London and is named in honor of the Duke.

The current town hall is the third one which was officiated in the year 1870; three years after its predecessor, and was grandly opened with a ball thrown by then Lord Mayor Samuel Amess, on his own personal account.



The present Town Hall has been redesigned to include larger spaces in its extensions and the refurbishment had excluded some of the original designs from Joseph Reed; one of such is the distinguished and elaborate mansard roof.
The renovation was needed after the fire destroyed majority of the original town hall; taking with it the pipe organ and most of the parts of the main auditorium in 1925.

The Main Auditorium today proudly houses a grand concert organ; an original piece by Londoners Hill, Norman & Beard in 1929 and has recently gone through a remodeling process by an American company; Schantz Organ Company.


Melbourne Town Hall adds to the list of the beautiful history and the charming brood of heritage 19th century buildings populating the city of Melbourne, which just adds to the allure of the city (as if it is not captivating enough already).

It is said that even the Beatles have been here for a civic reception back in the 1964.

This is certainly a star-studded icon of a landmark; with lavish balls, celebrities and royalty stepping into its hallowed halls.

A view of the Melbourne Town Hall with St Paul's Cathedral in the background

Melbourne Town Hall just seems to take it all in proud stride, and is definitely not shy to show it in its majestic demeanor on its grounds and there even seems to be a beaming smile appearing on its brick walls.
Or was that a smirk?



Maybe I imagined it all.

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and preferences and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.

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