Point of Interest

Town Hall

Australia / The Pacific

Perth Town Hall, with its distinctive clock tower, stands on the corner of Hay Street and Barrack Street, at 601 Hay Street.  It was designed in the Victorian Free-Gothic Revival style by the Supervisor of Public Works, Richard Roach Jewell (1810-91) who based his design on the style of the medieval town halls in Europe. It was built by convicts with windows shaped like broad arrows and decorations reminiscent of the hangman’s rope.  The construction was expected to take a year but ending up taking three years.  The building was officially opened by Sir Frederick Weld (1823-91), Governor of Western Australia on 1 June 1870 and the responsibility for the building was officially handed over to the City Council.  A daily market opened in 1872 in the undercroft of the hall but later abandoned.  The council’s first fire engine was also kept in the undercroft but the upkeep of the horses proved too expensive and again the undercroft was abandoned.  In the late 1800s through to the 1990s, the arched colonnade was converted and enclosed with shop buildings.  In 2014 the façade of the Town Hall was conserved and renovated, the shops under the arches removed and the building today has been returned to its original exterior.  The building is still regularly used for community and civic purposes.

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