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Ballarat Town Hall

Architect: Designs by J.T Lorenz (exterior), H.R Caselli (interior) were incorporated into the current Town Hall by architect Percy Oakden., 1856, 1860, 1870

Centre

Building Description

The distinctive Classical Revival-style Ballarat Town Hall is thought to be one of only a few symmetrical Town Hall buildings in Victoria. The first Town Hall was built in 1856, but burnt down three years later. Fascinatingly, the Town Hall as it stands today, was constructed according to the designs of three architects following an 1868 competition; with its exterior designed by J.T Lorenz, the interior by H.R Caselli, and the whole thing brought together by influential 19th century architect, Percy Oakden. It’s also one of only three in the world equipped with a peal of bells. Eight bells have chimed out across the city since the 1870s from the Town Hall Tower, which currently stands two storeys above the main building. Cast by Mears and Stainbank of Whitechapel, England, the bells weigh almost four-and-a-half tonnes, and commemorate Prince Alfred’s 1867 visit to Ballarat. Inside the Town Hall building, visitors can experience what it was like during the late 1860s with many of the building’s magnificent features retained and complete with original furniture. The natural cement render and the stone dressings at ground-floor level remain intact, with a grand stairwell leading the way to the first floor. High, elaborate ceilings feature throughout, with the Trench Room measuring 34 feet from floor to ceiling.

The Ballarat Town Hall Refurbishment project in 1997 by Peter Elliott in association with Morton Dunn Architects won the RAIA William Wardell Award in 1997.

Location

225 Sturt Street, Ballarat VIC

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