The Sydney Town Hall is a landmark sandstone building in Sydney. It stands opposite the Queen Victoria Building and alongside St Andrew’s Cathedral. Sitting above Town Hall station and between the cinema strip on George Street and the Central Business District, the steps of the Town Hall are a popular meeting place.
The Town Hall was built in the 1880s – on the site of an old cemetery – from local Sydney sandstone in the grand Victorian Second Empire style, and has been described as having “lavishly ornamented composition with focal tower and fanciful roofs”. It remains the only non-religious city building from the era to retain its original function and interior. The building houses the Sydney City Council Chamber, reception rooms, the Centennial Hall and offices for the Lord Mayor and elected councillors.
In the later years, it has been discovered that Town Hall lies on top of part of a cemetery complex. Renovations were undertaken in 2008/9 primarily to upgrade the mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and communication services within the building. The renovations, completed by Sydney builder Kell & Rigby, included removing 6,000 cubic meters of sandstone from underneath the building. The Town Hall is listed on the Register of the National Estate and is part of the important Town Hall group of heritage-listed buildings, which also includes the Queen Victoria Building, St Andrews Cathedral, the Gresham Hotel and the former Bank of New South Wales.