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Adelaide Town Hall

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Identification

Adelaide Town Hall
257587

Map

Structure in General

building with towers
existing [completed]
applied masonry
brown
neo-classicism

Usages

city hall

Facts

  • The Albert Tower, named after the consort of Queen Victoria was completed in 1865, six months before the opening of the Town Hall.
  • When debate about the construction of the present town hall began in 1852, the government assayer, Benjamin Herschel Babbage suggested concrete as a building material as it was cheap.
  • In 1876, Eagle Chambers was completed on the northern side of the Town Hall.
  • Edmund Wright, one of South Australia's most prominent nineteenth century architects, designed the Town Hall.
  • Some of these gentlemen, wishing for the notoriety of having reached the greatest height possible, climbed one last ladder to touch the extremity of the spire and one unnamed individual actually sat on the brass ball below the weather vane and made it revolve.
  • In 1869, the Prince Alfred Hotel was completed on the southern side of the Town Hall. In the same year, Queens Chambers was completed in Pirie Street, although in a different style to the Town Hall and Prince Alfred Hotel.
  • Public outrage at the idea of using concrete as a building material caused the council to borrow an extra £4,000 so the Town Hall could be dressed in elegant Glen Osmond Stone and freestone from Tea Tree Gully.
  • During the opening ceremony the Mayor, as well as quoting Keats (“a thing of beauty is a joy forever”), also stated that the “Albert Tower stood as memento to future generations of the esteem in which the people of the present day held the virtues of the illustrious Prince whose name it bore”.
  • In 1880, Gladstone Chambers were built between Eagle and Queens Chambers.
  • When the Albert Tower was completed a newspaper reported that “... several of those who came were afraid to mount to the summit, but about 30 gentlemen summoned up enough courage to climb the long succession of ladders ”.
  • In subsequent years, other buildings were erected adjacent to the Town Hall on land owned by the Council. This construction work was controlled by guidelines set by the Council so that the new buildings complemented the style of the Town Hall.

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More Information

Location

128 King William Street
128 King William Street
5000
Adelaide
South Australia
Australia

Technical Data

147.64 ft
3
1863
1866
1880

Involved Companies

Edmund Wright

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
  • National landmark
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