Although the Town Hall is a multipurpose building with a high degree of adaptability, but the primary functions of Sydney Town Hall have changed little in over 140 years. Large spaces which can be adapted for meetings, exhibitions, receptions and performances dominate the interior which also accommodates the council chamber and civic offices for the lord mayor and aldermen. Outside, the steps and balconies provide the ceremonial platforms for street parades and stages for democratic expression while high above, the public clock keeps the city on time.
Once described as a ‘bride cake’, the architecture of Sydney Town Hall is a composite of neo-Classical and French Second Empire elements, combining the imperial antiquity of ancient Greece and Rome with fashionable French architecture popularised in the public buildings and grand chateaux constructed during the reign of Napoleon III (1852-1870).
The history of the construction of Sydney Town Hall is a complex one, interspersed with scandal, subterfuge, suicide and lengthy delays, and a roll call of architects, designers, engineers and builders whose associations with the project and with council were … Continued