Town hall stories

The Town Hall Stories e-books provide a background to the establishment of the former municipalities of Port Melbourne, St Kilda and South Melbourne and the building of the three town halls, which were central to municipal civic and social life.

Port Melbourne

Port Melbourne formerly known as Sandridge was first declared a municipality in 1860, three years later in 1863 Sandridge became the Borough of Port Melbourne. The first Council offices opened in 1861, located on the corner of Bay and Graham Streets, Port Melbourne.

The first community hall was built in 1869 on the current site of the Port Melbourne Town Hall. In 1881 the addition of the grand building in front of the hall brought the council chambers and offices to the site.

Town Hall Stories: St Kilda Town Hall

The first St Kilda Town Hall was erected in 1859 at the corner of Barkly and Grey Streets. It was a municipal complex which included the council chamber, police station, court and watch house. Council held their first meeting there on 4 January 1860.

Designed by architect William Pitt, the St Kilda City Hall was completed in 1890, the same year in which St Kilda became a municipality and was renamed the City of St Kilda.

Town Hall Stories: South Melbourne Town Hall

South Melbourne was first known as Emerald Hill because the site on which the town hall now stands was a green island surrounded by swamps. The hill was a traditional social and ceremonial meeting place for the Yalukut Willam one of the five clans of the Boon Wurrung people. prior to the building of the South Melbourne Town Hall the site was occupied by the Protestant Orphan Asylum between 1855 and 1871.

In 1855 Emerald Hill became the first suburb in Victoria outside of Geelong and Melbourne to become a municipality. The South Melbourne Town Hall, designed by architect Charles Webb was officially opened in 1880.

 

 


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