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Melbourne Town Hall and Offices

Architect: Reed and Barnes

City of Melbourne | C07

Completed in 1870, Melbourne Town Hall is at the heart of the city’s cultural and civic activity, hosting theatre, weddings, receptions, and exhibitions. The building celebrates its corner site with a tower in the grand French Renaissance style and was the prototype for numerous suburban town halls. Construction on the Town Hall began in 1867 at the corner of Swanston and Collins streets. Architects Reed and Barnes won a competition for its design, and the firm was also responsible for later additions in 1887. These additions included Prince Alfred Tower (1869), the temple-like portico (1887), and the extension along Collins Street (1925). The exterior façade is made from Tasmanian freestone and sits above a rusticated bluestone plinth, while the clock tower houses clocks donated by the son of Melbourne’s first Mayor, Henry Condell. Brass statues of a sheep (wool), a bull (boiled down from fat for candles and soap), a whale (oil and bone), and a ship (transportation of exports) represent the strengths and wealth creators of Melbourne in the early 1840s. For over 135 years, Melbourne Town Hall has been at the heart of events that shaped the city’s future and celebrated its milestones. It was there that Federation was debated, Nellie Melba debuted, and The Beatles greeted an adoring throng.

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Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 3 & Thursday 1 January 10am - 4pm - Booking required for this building

  • Photography Restricted: Yes

  • What's Open: Foyer, Council Chambers, Yarra Room, Melbourne room, Portico Room and balcony.

  • Special Note: Melbourne Town Hall conditions of entry apply: photo identification, large bags, backpacks or prams are not allowed on the tour, limited cloack area will be avaialble. People under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. You must remain with the group at all times during the tour

  • Tour Type: C07

  • Tour Details: Tours at 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, running 60 minutes, in groups of 20. Bookings open on Friday 13 July 8:30 am (single release) until booked out.

  • Access: Pram accessible, Fully accessible

  • Building Type: Government

  • Year Built: 1870, 1887, 1925

  • Website:

  • Transport: Stop: Collins St/Melbourne Town Hall on routes 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 16, 67, 72, 109


90 - 130 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000, VIC


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