Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

City Hall Has Served Us Well; Officially Opened in June 1908, City Hall Celebrates 110 Years of Service

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

City Hall Has Served Us Well; Officially Opened in June 1908, City Hall Celebrates 110 Years of Service

Article excerpt

LOOKING BACK

GEORGE SEYMOUR

OVER the weekend we celebrated a milestone for one of Maryborough's best known buildings, City Hall, which was officially opened 110 years ago, on June 17, 1908.

This historic building has been at the heart of our community now for over a century, serving in many capacities, and I am confident it will continue to play a vital role into the future.

Remarkably, the substantial brick building was entirely financed from a donation by one local citizen, George Ambrose White.

He had earlier donated the funds for the public swimming baths in the botanic gardens. The one condition of that gift was that children always be admitted for free.

To provide the design for the City Hall, the council engaged one of the most accomplished architects to ever work in Queensland: Robin Dods of the renowned Brisbane firm, Hall and Dods. Dods is best known for his residential, church and commercial designs. The Maryborough City Hall, with its American Colonial and Georgian stylings, is in fact the only known example of municipal work by him.

Dissatisfaction with Maryborough's first timber Town Hall, which was situated on the opposite side of Kent St, had prompted several unsuccessful attempts in the nineteenth century to replace it with a masonry building that the aldermen felt would more suitably reflect the importance of Maryborough in the colony.

The new hall was constructed with the intention of being the finest public building in town. Dod's design, a substantial red brick building with steeply pitched gabled roof and six Tuscan Order columns defining the portico, reflected the Victorian ideal of municipal buildings.

The local MP, Andrew Fisher, conducted the opening ceremony. A few months later he became the young nation's fifth Prime Minister.

City Hall was initially received with mixed reviews by the Maryborough community. Not everyone was impressed with the exterior although the interior of the building found more universal appeal with finely crafted internal mouldings and joinery and well-proportioned rooms. …

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