Wellington Town Hall

The Wellington Town Hall is a concert hall and part of the municipal complex in Wellington, New Zealand. The foundation stone for the building was laid in 1901 and construction began the following year. It was officially opened on 7 December 1904. The Town Hall was originally fronted (on the Cuba Street side) with a Roman styled portico and a 150 foot clock tower. A clock was not installed in the tower until 1922, when John Blundell, owner of the Evening Post newspaper, donated one. In 1934 the tower was removed as a precaution following the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, and the main portico, pediment, balustrade, parapet and bold cornice were also removed. The building was earthquake strengthened in 1943 following an earthquake the previous year. During the strengthening the Corinthian capitals on the exterior were replaced with Tuscan detailing. In 1980 the Michael Fowler Centre was built immediately in front of the Town Hall's main entrance in anticipation of the older building's demolition. However the New Zealand Historic Places Trust persuaded the City Council to retain the Town Hall. In 1989 plans were unveiled to create Civic Square between the town hall and the old city library. As part of this, the Town Hall underwent full refurbishment from 1991 to 1992. During this process the concert chamber was demolished and replaced with reception rooms. The main auditorium has been rated one of the best in the world for acoustic quality. It has hosted numerous live performances (including The Beatles & The Rolling Stones) as well as fashion shows, debutante balls, political rallies and degree conferrals. Although the council offices have spread beyond the Town Hall since 1904, the building still houses the offices of the Mayor and city councillors of Wellington City.
 

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