Waterloo Town Hall

Waterloo Town Hall

The Waterloo Town Hall is a landmark civic building in Waterloo, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. It stands at 770 Elizabeth Street. It was built in 1880–82 in the Victorian Italianate style by John Smedley, Edward Hughes and Ambrose Thornley. The Town Hall was the seat of Waterloo Municipal Council from 1882 to 1948 and since 1972 has been the Waterloo Library, a branch of the City of Sydney libraries servicing Waterloo and Alexandria.

When the Municipality of Waterloo was proclaimed in May 1860, the council first met in a room on Botany Road. However, when the Alexandria part of the council area separated and formed their own municipality in August 1868. From August 1868, Aldermen met in a room in Wellington Street, Waterloo, until they commissioned the new Town Hall in 1880. The Town Hall was commissioned to a Victorian-Italianate design by Architects Thornley & Smedley. However the construction of the Hall, undertaken by builders Bretnall & Poulton, went through several cost blow-outs and delays, with a final cost of £3500 with a £370 annual cost in interest payments.Waterloo Municipal Council first met in the hall on 19 August 1882.

In 1915 a ‘Social Hall’ was commissioned and built to the rear of the existing hall, and it was unveiled by Mayor Dunning on 24 February 1915[5] During the Second World War an air-raid shelter was built in the town hall, and is one of the few surviving examples left in Sydney.On 21 April 1941, William McKell, Leader of the NSW Opposition, gave a policy speech at the town hall for the 1941 election campaign.In 1972, the then South Sydney Council made the town hall a library, which was then transferred to be a branch of the City of Sydney Libraries upon reamalgamation in 1982 and 2004. On 26 July 1990 a plaque was unveiled at Waterloo Town Hall by Valerian Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington, to commemorate the relationship between Waterloo’s naming with the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. It is the earliest conflict commemorated in Sydney.