City of Williamstown Municipal Offices and Town Hall (former) and Drinking Fountain, Hobsons Bay Heritage Study 2006
Statement of Significance
What is Significant?
The former City of Williamstown Municipal Offices and Town Hall, comprising the municipal offices designed by Plottel & Bennett and constructed by RL Phillips in 1919, the Town Hall designed by Gibbs, Finlay & Morsby and constructed by Weavell & Keast in 1927, the John A Dennis Memorial, the 1967 offices and library and the Golden Elm Tree, at 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown.
How is it Significant?
The former Cty of Williamstown Municipal Offices and Town Hall complex is of local historic, social and aesthetic significance to the City of Hobsons Bay.
Why is it Significant?
Historically, it is significant as the first municipal offices constructed by the City of Williamstown and the buildings on the site demonstrate the growth and development of the city over a long period until its eventual amalgamation with the City of Altona in 1994. The drinking fountain has associations with long-serving councillor, John A Dennis and is one of a series of similar memorials erected throughout the city. (AHC criteria A4, D2 and H1)
Aesthetically, it is significant as an original example of an Interwar municipal complex that includes both offices and a town hall and is an important work by architects who had an extensive career in Melbourne. The town hall is notable as one of the largest Interwar examples in Victoria and one of the few in the Greek Revival style. Set back behind a grand forecourt, the complex is a major landmark element in Ferguson Street. (AHC criteria B2, E1 and F1)
Socially, it has important and strong associations for local residents as the municipal offices and town hall for the former City of Williamstown and is an important part of the identity of the locality. It continues to play an important role as a Library and community meeting place today. (AHC criterion G1)