ONE of Parramatta’s most-loved landmarks, Parramatta Town Hall, has reopened its doors to the public after a 14-month and more than $30M restoration.
Lord Mayors and councilors, past and present, gathered with other dignitaries for a special civic opening in the Grand Hall and Southern Terrace last night, to mark the reopening.
The restoration marks the final piece of the puzzle in the transformation of Parramatta Square in the City’s heart.
City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Pierre Esber said the restored Town Hall, built and originally opened in 1883, adjoins the City’s civic, cultural and community hub, PHIVE, connecting the City’s past with the present.
“Growing up here I have watched the city transform before my eyes, but this building has been a constant,” Cr Esber said.
“I’m proud this much-loved gathering place of our community has now been restored to its former glory so it can long be a part of our future.”
Cr Esber said everyone had a story about Town Hall.
“Our Town Hall has seen everything – from the first performance at the venue by the Parramatta Glee Club in 1883 to the world-famous Trapp Family Singers who inspired The Sound of Music to serving as a backdrop for a music video for Delta Goodrem and American rapper Gizzle and of course hundreds of council meetings,” Cr Esber said.
“Thousands of locals have their own special memories of Town Hall from concerts to birthdays and even weddings.”
“Now that the doors are reopening, I look forward to a whole new generation creating memories at Town Hall.”
Parramatta Town Hall was originally identified and marked out by Australia’s first Governor, Arthur Phillip in 1792. It was built in two stages – the Council chambers, which were opened in 1881, and Town Hall itself two years later in 1883 as a place for community meetings, concerts and other recreational activities.
Today Town Hall features new state-of-the-art audio visual and lighting features in the main hall, a commercial prep kitchen, a passenger lift to the upper level and a contemporary glassed-in Southern Terrace overlooking Parramatta Square – new features that have turned the 19th century meeting place into a 21st century marvel.
The works have all been made possible with the assistance of award-winning French Architect Manuelle Gautrand in partnership with Australian architecture firms Lacoste + Stevenson and DesignInc, along with heritage specialists TKD Architects and Australian construction group Built.
Free guided tours of Parramatta Town Hall will be available to the public from December 16.
See historical video from home page.
Parramatta Town Hall replaced the marketplace formerly used for public activities including cattle sales and agricultural shows prior to 1883.
- Architects, The Mansfield Brothers and builders, Herbert Coates of Parramatta, used a ‘Victorian Free Classical’ style, combining an eye-catching mix of various European architectural styles. The Mansfield Brothers were also responsible for the design of Redfern Town Hall and Abercrombie House in Bathurst.
- The first public use of the venue was a community event presented by the Parramatta Glee Club that also revealed the municipality’s aspiration to be a place of fashion and high culture.
- Further additions were made to Parramatta Town Hall in 1932 with architect Benjamin Dunsmore McDonald including a meeting room and office additions at the southern frontage of the building.
- Events hosted at Town Hall include a lecture about the Boer War by Australian icon, journalist, and author A B (Banjo) Paterson and a performance by the world-famous Trapp Family Singers in 1955 – the inspiration behind The Sound of Music.
- In 2016, Town Hall was the backdrop for the music video ‘Enough’ by Australian singer Delta Goodrem and American rap artist Gizzle.
- The restoration project began in 2021 and cost more than $30M to complete
- All public entrances to Parramatta Town Hall are wheelchair accessible.