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Melbourne Town Hall

From Academic Kids

During the  the Melbourne Town Hall acts as venue to a large number of the performances.
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During the Melbourne International Comedy Festival the Melbourne Town Hall acts as venue to a large number of the performances.

Melbourne Town Hall is the central municipal building of the city of Melbourne, Australia, in the state of Victoria. It is located on the northeast corner of Swanston and Collins Streets in the central business district. It is the seat of the Local Government Area of the City of Melbourne.

Melbourne was officially incorporated as a town on December 13 1842, with Henry Condell as its first Mayor. However, it wasn't until 1854 that its first Town Hall was completed. Begun in 1851, the work ground to a halt with the beginning of the Victorian gold rush. The foundation stone of a new, grander Town Hall was laid on November 29 1867 by the visiting Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburg, after the demolition of the first. The current Town Hall officially opened on August 11 1870 with a lavish ball.

The building is topped by Prince Alfred's Tower, named after the Duke. The Tower includes a 2.44m diameter clock, which was started on August 31 1874, after being presented to the council by the Mayor's son, Vallange Condell. It was built by Smith and Sons of London. The longest of its copper hands measures 1.19m long, and weighs 8.85kg.

The Town Hall was designed by the famous local architect Joseph Reed, in the Second Empire style. Reed's designs also included the State Library of Victoria, the Royal Exhibition Building, and Melbourne Trades Hall.

The foundation stone of the additional front portico was laid in 1887, and Lord Mayor Sir Henry Weedon laid the foundation of the administritive annexe building in 1900.

In 1925 a fire destroyed a large part of the town hall, including the main auditorium and pipe organ. It was rebuilt and enlarged, extending east over the site previously occupied by the Victoria Coffee Palace, an early temperance hotel frequented by Melbourne's power brokers. The rebuilt section lost some of Reed's original flourishes including the elaborate mansard roof.

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