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Kensington Town Hall

Architect: Evander McIver 1901

City of Melbourne | C01

Building Description

Built in 1901 for the new Borough of Flemington and Kensington, this impressive Victorian Italianate building served as the town hall for a brief five years. Instead, it has been picture theatre, WW2 command post, influenza hospital, ballet and circus school, legal centre, and finally, community venue.

Kensington Town Hall represents one of the few defunct municipalities in Victoria. Not long after the building's construction, the residents of Kensington and Flemington amalgamated with the City of Melbourne in 1905, leaving the former municipal hall vacant. During its lifetime, the building has housed an early picture theatre, library, and a maternal and child health centre. During WW2 it was a command post for the armed services, who reportedly built an entrance to a ‘strategic bunker' from the basement. After WW2 it was used as a hospital during the Spanish Influenza epidemic, a rehearsal space for Circus Oz, and it was also home to the Ballet Theatre Australia.

After falling into disrepair, it was reopened after a $4.8 million restoration in 2015. Owned by the City of Melbourne and managed in partnership with YMCA, the building is now a busy centre for community-run meetings, workshops and events.

What's On

Visitors can view community areas, the Main Hall and the Conference Room (formerly the Council Chamber).

Need to Know

  • Open: Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July 10am–4.30pm

  • Tour Type: Open Entry, Self-guided

  • Access: Fully accessible, all ages.

  • Notes: Toilets available

  • Building Type: Government

  • Architecture Era: Victorian (1851-1901)

  • Transport: Tram stop: Newmarket Plaza/Racecourse Rd on route 57

  • Photo Credit: Andrew Evans

Location

30-34 Bellair Street, Kensington 3031, Kensington VIC

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