Sydney Town Hall - Sydney's ain concert venue

 

Located at 483 George Street, Sydney Town Hall is just opposite the Queen Victoria

Building and is a good place to rendezvous with someone.

Sydney Town Hall was a collaborative effort of well-known designers:

  • John Henry Wilson (1868) – Designed the original building on George Street.
  • Albert Bond (1873-1877) – Designed the roof and vestibules.
  • Brothers Thomas and Edward Bradridge (1875-1877) – Designed the clock tower.
  • Thomas Sapsford (1883-1889) – Designed the Centennial Hall.

Before the opening of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Town Hall was Sydney’s main

concert venue. The 2008 Colour Parade last April 5th was held here and was a colorful

display of artistic expression and unity.

It was much later discovered that the Sydney Town Hall was built on an ancient Aboriginal burial ground. Because of this, the government is still debating on whether or not to place

this building on the heritage list.

The seat of the city government, the Sydney Town Hall is a prime example of High

Victorian-style architecture in Australia.

 

Still a major venue for cultural and civic events in Sydney, the Sydney Town Hall has an impressive concert hall, beautifully designed and crafted stained glass windows, and an

8000 pipe grand organ.

Sydney Town Hall - Sydney's ain concert venue

 

Interesting bits about the Sydney Town Hall’s Grand Organ.

  • The Grand Organ was built as a symbol of the city’s dreams and aspirations.
  • The design for the Grand Organ and its case was drafted by William Hill and Son (British organ builders) in the late 19th century.
    The organ was crafted in England and was then dismantled and shipped to Sydney.
  • In August 9, 1890, the Grand Organ was played before a prominent audience of 4,000 for the first time by Liverpool’s city organist, W.T. Best.
    He played a selection of classical pieces by Bach and some of his own original pieces.
  • August Wiegand, a Belgian, was named Sydney’s first City Organist.
  • Arthur Mason succeeded Wiegand in 1901 and was the first Sydney City Organist from Australia.
  • The Grand Organ underwent serious renovation under R.H. Pogson Pty. Ltd. after it began to show signs of mechanical problems in 1973.
    It took almost a decade to restore it to its original splendour.
  • Presently, free recitals are held throughout the year to showcase the organ’s exquisite sound.

Today, Sydney Town Hall is used as the town’s seat of government and the official meeting place of the City of Sydney Council.