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 Yalukit 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 municipality in Victoria outside of Geelong and Melbourne. The South Melbourne Town Hall, designed by architect Charles Webb was officially opened in 1880.

The South Melbourne Town Hall is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, in 2012 a substantial conservation program on the Council Chamber furnishings  was completed, to read more.


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