The Geelong Town Hall, including the original 1855 (southern) wing fronting Little Malop Street, consisting of a bluestone building with freestone facade set on a rusticated podium; 1917 (eastern and northern) wings, the northern containing a central colonnade which projects beyond the side pavilions to include the council chamber and a reception room; principal facade fronting Gheringhap Street dominated by a central hexastyle Ionic portico; and landscaped setting; western wing with an entrance to Little Malop Street, constructed 1968-69. Remnants of nineteenth century wallpaper survive in the 1855 wing.
HOW IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
The Geelong Town Hall is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects.
WHY IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
The Geelong Town Hall is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
The Geelong Town Hall is of historical significance as Victoria's earliest surviving municipal building and for its long-serving role as a centre of local government. The Geelong Town Council has occupied the site since 1855 and the southern section has been continually used for municipal purposes since this date. The building, as completed in 1917 in accordance with Joseph Reed's original design, clearly demonstrates the importance and growth of municipal governance in the State. [Criterion A]
The Geelong Town Hall is of architectural significance as an early and intact representative example of a municipal building in Victoria and one of prominent Melbourne architect, Joseph Reed's, earliest designs. The southern facade, constructed in 1855, and the balance of Reed's design vision, completed in 1917, demonstrates the adoption of the Renaissance Revival style in the design of an important public building and is a fine example of a classically designed town hall in Victoria. [Criterion D]