Stein-am-Rhein's Town Hall Square

Stein-am-Rhein's Town Hall Square

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The Town Hall of Amsterdam

The year was 1648. The United Provinces of the Netherlands had just been granted independence from Spain, marking the end of eighty years of war. Amsterdam, a hub of finance and trade, was positioned to take its place on the world stage as a great modern city.

However, its town hall, on the square facing the thirteenth-century dam on the Amstel River, was a dilapidated warren of cramped late-medieval buildings. The burgomasters of Amsterdam had already planned to erect a new town hall that would be the “eighth wonder of the world” and appropriately represent the city’s prosperity and status as a center for trade, but this project took on new significance with the declaration of peace and independence.

Jacob van Campen and Daniël Stalpaert, plan of the Town Hall of Amsterdam, 1648 (Amsterdam Stadsarchief)

The winning design was submitted by the architect Jacob van Campen, and took over a decade to complete. The new town hall housed all of the administrative functions of the city of Amsterdam—serving as criminal court, magistrate, police office, city bank, armory, prison, tax office, mayor’s office, marketplace, and the center of political activity. It remained in use at the heart of the city until it was converted to a royal palace in 1806, when Napoleon Bonaparte installed his brother on the Dutch throne. Today the building still functions as a palace, but also serves as a museum and a monument to two important eras in Dutch history.

Abraham Bloteling (after Jacob van Ruisdael), view of the Blauwbrug over the Amstel River, 1664 (Amsterdam Stadsarchief, Atlas Splitgerber)

Dutch Classicism

Because the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century had no monarchy and a much smaller aristocracy than other countries in Europe, there were fewer people commissioning monumental architecture. The marshiness of land upon which Amsterdam was built required driving piles deep into the ground to support construction and limited the scale of projects. Land for building plots tended to be thin and long, with narrow façades oriented toward the street. The local scarcity of stone also meant that brick architecture dominated.

Frederik de Wit, Amsterdam Town Hall from the Stedenboek, c. 1698, hand-colored print (KB, National Library of the Netherlands)

Andrea Palladio, elevation and section of Bramante’s Tempietto from The Four Books of Architecture, originally published 1570, vol. 4, plate 55 (Bibliotheken Universität Heidelburg)

However, for large sites such as the town hall, architects like van Campen chose to build in stone and in a new style: Dutch Classicism. Architectural texts circulated widely in early modern Europe, and the writings of Italian Renaissance and Mannerist architects like Palladio, Serlio, and Scamozzi, in particular, resonated with Dutch architects. Dutch Classicism used the rules of symmetry and ideal ratios drawn from these Italian authors as well as classical sources like Vitruvius . The new style also incorporated surface application of pilasters , classicizing festoons , and allegorical sculpture. Compared to the typical local, small-scale brick architecture of Amsterdam, Dutch Classicism would have appeared striking and impressive.

For the town hall, van Campen designed a massive, symmetrical, orderly universe in miniature. Corinthian pilasters rhythmically divide the surface, while flanking pavilions subtly add bulk to anchor the corners of the composition and balance the larger central one. A cupola housing a bell salvaged from the old town hall dominates the roofline. The cupola, an otherwise jarring addition to the sober classicism of the rest of the exterior, may have been based on Bramante’s Tempietto , as illustrated by Palladio.

The interior is structured around the 120-foot-long barrel-vaulted Burgerzaal (Citizens’ Hall) that bisects the building on an east-west axis. This room is the same size as the central space of a basilica designed by Vitruvius, the only one for which he recorded dimensions. Two interior courts break up the mass, creating light wells that flank the Burgerzaal and provide light and airflow for both the central hall and the galleries. Offices were arranged around the exterior perimeter of the building.

A Wealth of Decoration

Festoon with shells, exterior of Amsterdam Town Hall (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed)

Dutch Classicism was not purely derivative. While van Campen carefully copied architectural components from prints after the Italians, his collaborator Artus Quellinus designed a universe of decorative sculptural festoons for the exterior. Rather than repeating one stock design across the entire façade, the festoons are varied and include the forms of fruit, flowers, sea creatures, ships’ instruments, and other symbolic representations.

The building instantly asserts through its exterior decoration that it is a temple to the newfound peace and prosperity of Amsterdam in the wake of independence. Both the east and west façades have a central projecting block with a pediment topped by sculpture. An 8,000-pound sculpture of Peace, accompanied by allegorical figures representing Prudence and Justice, surmounts the eastern pediment. The pediment itself contains a sculpture group representing the Maid of Amsterdam and the bounties of the sea. Meanwhile, the west façade supports Atlas, accompanied by Fortitude and Temperance. The western pediment contains allegories of the four continents and the benefits of global trade. The two façades balance each other: male and female, land and sea.

Amsterdam Town Hall, left: drawing of the east elevation (detail), by A. de Putter and Gerard Valck, 1719: a sculpture of Peace, accompanied by allegorical figures representing Prudence and Justice surmount the eastern pediment which contains a sculpture group representing the Maid of Amsterdam and the bounties of the sea (Amsterdam Stadsarchief) right: drawing of the west elevation (detail), by Pieter Schenk, c. 1710: allegories of the four continents and the benefits of global trade (Amsterdam Stadsarchief). The two façades balance each other: male and female, land and sea.

Amsterdam Town Hall, map of the world and sky of the northern hemisphere, floor of the Burgerzaal (Google Art Project)

Microcosm of the World

Once inside, a visitor walks up a grand staircase into the Burgerzaal , which contains the universe in miniature: maps of the world are embedded in the floor flanking a representation of the skies of the northern hemisphere.

The southern hemisphere was initially intended to adorn the massive 90-foot barrel vault above. A viewer standing in the center of the room stood at the symbolic center of the world—watched over by sculptures of Atlas and the Maid of Amsterdam.

The entire interior is a unified decorative cycle carried out in expensive imported stone. Allegories representing the four elements, planets, virtues, and the bounties of land and sea act as wall decoration.

Left: Figure of Temperance, Amsterdam Town Hall right: Cesare Ripa, detail from Iconologia (London, 1709)

This imagery stems from Cesare Ripa’s Iconologia, an influential Italian iconographic manual originally published in 1593. It circulated widely throughout Europe and even appeared in a Dutch translation in 1644, and the dual representations of each element in the Burgerzaal closely correspond to Ripa’s descriptions. The times of day, sunrise and sunset, and the zodiac signs are also present. Representations of the planets lined the corridors, and were located closest to the offices with which they were symbolically associated.

Govert Flinck, The incorruptible Consul Marcus Curius Dentatus, 1656, oil on canvas, 377 x 485 cm (Royal Palace Amsterdam)

Rembrandt’s Failure?

Various media all worked together to emphasize personal and civic virtue throughout the offices. The mantelpieces in the larger offices emphasized the character traits city officials were intended to exhibit: humility, frugality, and responsibility. For example, Govert Flinck painted The incorruptible Consul Marcus Curius Dentatus , who, according to classical sources, preferred his humble turnips to the large, glittering bribe being presented to him. Each room’s mantelpiece consisted of a sculpted marble frieze and a poem relating directly to the subject of the painting.

In the galleries, the scope was even greater. Initially, Flinck was commissioned to produce a cycle of twelve monumental paintings illustrating the story of the Batavian uprising. In the Histories , Tacitus recounts the tale of the Batavians, a Germanic people who rebelled against Rome, gaining their independence. Since the late sixteenth century, the Batavians had been adopted not only as the mythical but as the as actual ancestors of the Dutch, who similarly refused to succumb to an empire. Flinck had worked as an assistant in Rembrandt’s workshop, but by the time of the Town Hall commission was a well-established independent master. The cycle was intended to illustrate the whole story of the rebellion as an allegory of the war against Spain. Unfortunately, he died before completing any of the cycle. The project was reduced in scale and split between a series of painters, including Jacob Jordaens, Jan Lievens, and Rembrandt van Rijn. Rembrandt’s contribution, The Oath of Claudius Civilis , was removed from the town hall for unknown reasons less than a year after its installation a fragment survives in Stockholm, presenting one of the great puzzles of the Dutch Golden Age.

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis, 1661-62, 309 x 196 cm (The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Sweden)

Splendor and symbolism

The interior and exterior decorative schemes function on several levels: they celebrate the peace and bounty of Amsterdam, provide visual models of virtuous classical and biblical leaders, and chronicle the mythic history of the Dutch. All of this is contained within a mathematically ideal and symbolically rich microcosm. It is designed to impress new visitors with the splendor and wealth of the Dutch Republic as well as to provide ongoing moral instruction to those who do business there every day.

Additional resources:

Katherine Fremantle, The Baroque Town Hall of Amsterdam (Utrecht: Haentjens Dekker & Gumbert, 1959)

Eymert-Jan Goosens, The Palace of Amsterdam: Treasure Wrought by Chisel and Brush (Amsterdam: Waanders, 2010)

Opening hours

    • May &ndash June
    • Mon
    • 11.00 &ndash 20.00
    • Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
    • 10.00 &ndash 20.00
    • July &ndash September
    • Mon
    • 11.00 &ndash 21.00
    • Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
    • 09.00 &ndash 21.00
    • October &ndash November
    • Mon
    • 11.00 &ndash 20.00
    • Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
    • 10.00 &ndash 20.00

    The ticket sale ends 50 minutes before the closing time.

    111-0057 Fredericksburg Town Hall and Market Square

    *Click on image to enlarge.

    For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

    VLR Listing Date 10/20/1993

    NRHP Listing Date 07/22/1994

    NRHP Reference Number 94000683

    Fredericksburg’s former town hall and connecting square is a rare Federal-period public complex. Completed in 1816, the town hall is a plain, almost domestic appearing building. The rear elevation (pictured above), set on a stone arcade, dominates the market square, a sloping space on the interior of the block. The complex follows the precedent of English town halls which traditionally had meeting spaces above an arcaded market area. Here, farmers, craftsmen and other vendors sold their goods in the formerly open arcades of the lower level. Political leaders and social elite held public meetings, assemblies, and dances above. Businessmen rented the wings for office space. Although the market ceased with the development of produce stores, the town hall continued to house the local government until 1982. In 1988 the building was converted to a local history museum.

    VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
    NPS: National Park Service
    NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
    NHL: National Historic Landmark

    Peterborough Cathedral Square – Archaeological Features

    7th – 11th Centuries
    Posthole, pit
    12th-14th Centuries
    Market square surface
    Dark organic silt first appears
    Building 1
    Cathedral gateway foundations
    Stone wall and pit (Cumbergate)
    Possible stones from dismantled bridge over Tom Lock (Cathedral Gate)

    Late 14th – Early 15th Centuries
    Cemetery west side of church
    Churchyard wall
    Road surface/path/kerb (Church St)
    Market resurfacing and market cross

    Late 15th – 17th Centuries
    Tenement building (Building 3)
    Resurface adjacent building
    Internal floors Butchers Row
    Stone wall (south side toilet block)
    Street monument remains (Cathedral Square)
    Wall/drain capping (Queen Street)
    Walls (Cathedral Square, Cumbergate)
    Last organic silt deposit
    Levelling over cemetery and churchyard

    Late 17th – 18th Centuries
    Demolition tenement block
    Extensive make-up and resurfacing
    Churchyard pitched-stone surface
    New church yard wall
    Surface silting
    Foundations and boot-scraper (The Grapevine)

    Late 18th – 19th Centuries
    Robbed out tenement walls
    Resurfacing and surface silting
    Cellars and foundations between church and Guildhall
    Victorian subterranean services
    Brick foundation and toilet basement of Corn Exchange
    Brick/stone wall (Bridge Street)
    Make-up layers (Cowgate Yard)
    Cellar wall (Exchange Street)
    Wall/drain (Queen Street)
    Granite setts
    Concrete base (Gates Memorial)
    Base of telegraph pole

    Early – Mid 20th Century
    Wall foundations (Bridge Street)
    Wall improvements (Cathedral gate)
    Tarmac surfaces, kerbs, etc A15/47
    Concrete surface, flower beds St Johns churchyard

    Late 20th Century
    Concrete plinth Norwich Union
    Toilet block walls
    Fountain foundations
    Street furniture signatures
    Multiple service trenches
    Road construction
    Slab and brick pavements throughout

    Stein-am-Rhein's Town Hall Square - History

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    First Friday of Every Month, 5pm - 8pm
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    City of Shelton, Connecticut

    The City of Shelton is about to commence the state mandated revaluation project of 2021 with the assistance of Municipal Valuations Services, LLC (Munival) of Fairfield, CT (the revaluation company hired to assist the City with the revaluation). This process will take place from April 15, 2021 thru October 31st, 2021.

    As part of this process, Munival will be mailing each resident in the City of Shelton a data verification letter. This letter contains information specific to your property. We are asking you to review the information listed on the form, make any corrections directly to the form and return this form back to Munival for review. You may return the form either by mail, email, fax or drop off at the Assessor’s office (address information will be listed directly on your letter).

    Municipal Valuation Services will also have people throughout the City of Shelton inspecting properties that did not return the data mailer. This means you will see company representatives knocking on taxpayer’s doors asking questions.

    In accordance with the most recent COVID guidelines all employees will have daily health checks, will be wearing cloth face coverings while outside their vehicle and speaking with taxpayers and will be practicing proper social distancing.

    All Munival employees will have a City badge and a company badge. They will also have magnets on their vehicles and the company logo on their attire.

    Thank you and we look forward to your cooperation during this time.

    Please call Municipal Valuation Services at 203-292-5500 for any additional information or questions.

    Office of the Mayor

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    Town Hall

    Ljubljana's Town Hall (locally referred to as Mestna hiša, Magistrat or Rotovž), is the seat of the Municipality of Ljubljana. It was built in the late 15th century by the master builder Peter Bezlaj. It assumed its present appearance between 1717 and 1719, when an annexe designed by Carlo Martinuzzi was added to it by the master builder Gregor Maček Snr. Later the building was alterated several times, the most thoroughly by the architect Svetozar Križaj in 1963.

    The Town Hall façade reflects Venetian architectural influences. The vestibule provides space for a late Gothic plaque with a coat of arms surviving from the original Town Hall building and a 17th century statue of Hercules with a lion, previously a part of the Hercules Fountain which used to stand in the middle of the nearby Stari trg square. In the Town Hall's arched courtyard stands Francesco Robba's Narcissus Fountain (Narcisov vodnjak) from Bokalce Castle (Grad Bokalce). Next to the staircase there is a monument in memory of Ivan Hribar (1851-1941), a famous mayor of Ljubljana.

    Exhibitions in the Town Hall

    Ljubljana Town Hall features four exhibition spaces: the Glass Atrium, the Historical Atrium, the Central and Right Atriums. The primary purpose of the exhibition space is to showcase projects by the Municipality of Ljubljana. Also on display are exhibitions organized through international and inter-city partnerships, individual and group exhibitions of fine art by established and amateur artists.


    Town Hall tour

    The tour of Ljubljana's Town Hall includes a number of rooms which have so far not been open for public viewing. It offers an insight into the rich history of a building which stands as one of Ljubljana's most striking Baroque monuments.

    Stein-am-Rhein's Town Hall Square - History

    The Brighton Center Commercial Area is one of the most historically significant areas within Allston-Brighton. The northeast corner of the historic Washington and Market Street cross roads became the focus of the community's educational and religious life as early as the second quarter of the eighteenth century with the establishment of the first school in l722 and the first meetinghouse in 1744. Between c.1790 and 1820, Brighton Center's fortune's were on the rise, becoming the seat of town government for the new town of Brighton in 1807 and a major agricultural center with the establishment of the fair grounds of the Massachusetts Society for the Promoting of Agriculture in 1818. By the 1830s, Brighton Center contained a social library, fire house, town hall, two churches, and a post office. Commercial concerns encompassed a harness maker's shop, wheelwright shop, blacksmith shop, bank, three general stores and a tavern. Additionally, a half dozen private homes lined Washington Street at Brighton Center. The Cattle Fair Hotel was Brighton's most visible symbol of the town's lucrative cattle industry.
    The construction of Cambridge Street and the River Street Bridge in 1810 and Brighton Avenue in 1824 linked Brighton Center more closely with Cambridge and Boston. During the 1820s and '30s, these new roads provided access to persons doing business with Brighton's thriving agricultural concerns. Eminent visitors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Cullen Bryant traveled through Brighton Center on their way to the nurseries of Joseph L.L. Warren's Nonantum Vale Gardens, Jonathan Winship and Joseph Breck.
    The 1910s and 1920s witnessed the final phase of Brighton Center's transformation from a village of wooden structures to a more urbane town center of masonry commercial buildings. This wave of construction activity was triggered by the advent of the automobile trade and the ambitions of Italian, Jewish and Irish entrepreneurs who operated grocery, clothing, hardware and other businesses in the new one to two story Classical Revival, Georgian Revival, Tudoresque and Tapestry Brick commercial blocks. The demolition of the Cattle Fair Hotel at the turn of the century opened the north side of Washington Street, between Parsons and Market streets for development.

    Washington St in Brighton Center in 1832 with the original Cattle Fair Hotel on the left, the 1808 First Parish Church at the center , and Washington St looking east in front of the Church

    Cattle Yards in Brighton Center (c1850) behind the Cattle Fair Hotel. The raised structure in the center was the auctioneer's platform.

    1875 Map of Brighton Center. There were nearly 20 hotels in the Town of Brighton that accommodated the visiting cattle dealers, drovers, and country farmers who crowded into the town each week to do business at the Brighton Stockyards. The Cattle Fair Hotel was the largest and occupied most of the land between Bennett, Market and Parsons Streets. Other Hotels on the map were the Nagles Hotel at Washington and Winship Streets and the Scates Hotel at the corner of Chestnut Hill Ave and Washington St. There were also several banks including the National Bank of Brighton at Washington and Chestnut Hill Ave and the Market National Bank at Winship and Washington Streets

    1875 Map#2 showing the Osborn home (see below) next to the Unitarian Church at Market and Washington St. Also, note the Wilson Hotel which was removed to nearby Henshaw Street where it was converted into a private residence.

    1885 Map. Note the Osborn property size has increased, Warren building now exists (purple), the Police Station in the Town Hall building and the Post Office opposite the Police Station. This Post Office was replaced by the current Post Office in the 1950s. The current Police Station was built in the 1890s.

    1935 Brighton Center Photo from St Elizabeth's

    Cattle Fair Hotel in 1865 at the corner of Washington and Market Streets (<click here> for more photos)

    The Dr. Isaac Braman's house to the right of the Congregational Church opposite Parsons St. See 1895 map above. Dr. Braman moved to Brighton in 1842 and was one of the first organizers of the First Episcopal Church which later was called St Margaret's (see below). He was also in charge of the medical department of U.S. Arsenal in Watertown and the coroner for Suffolk County

    First Church of Brighton 1808 building (see 1885 map and 1832 Drawing above)

    Second Church at Washington and Market St in Brighton Center in the late 1800s. Warren Building is to the right of the church

    Recent Photo of the updated building on Academy Hill Rd that was originally the Parsonage of the First Church of Brighton

    Brighton Evangelical Congregational Church building built n 1827 at 404 Washington St when more conservative parishioners broke away from the First Church. This photo and the ones that follow track the different buildings used by the church at the same location known. Today it is known as the Brighton Allston Congregational Church.

    The Gothic Revival style Brighton Evangelical Congregational Church built in1868. The architect of this handsome wooden structure was George Fuller of Brighton who was a member of the church and who also the architect for the Brighton Holton Library built in 1874

    1866 Brighton Congregational Church without a steeple and the addition of telephone poles and wires. This building was destroyed by a fire in 1921

    Interior of the1866 Brighton Congregational Church

    The current Brighton Congregational Church in the 1940s. This building was constructed in 1921.

    c1905 Looking East

    Looking East c1920

    Closeup of Agricultural Hall (center) from the previous photo

    Bank of Brighton $50 bill from 1850 before the US National Banks were established

    Bank of Brighton $20 bill from 1850 with Brighton Center Scene

    1904 Looking east. Note the absence of St Elizabeth's in the distance

    c1950. Note Conaty's appliance store, Home Supply hardware store and Carey's Furniture who were all landmark Brighton Center businesses for many years

    The Brighton Cooperative Bank (1911-1976) branch in Brighton Center

    Fitzpatrick's Diner c1970 opposite Parson Street at the current sight of the Citizens Bank

    Looking East 1948 (courtesy of the Boston Public Library)

    The Palace Spa store at the corner of Parsons and Washington St (courtesy of Eddie Neary)

    A later photo of St Margaret's with the front windows removed and an entrance added

    Parishioners leaving a service. The church exterior is now all stucco

    The Noah Worcester House c1900 at the Northwest corner of Foster and Washington Streets, built c1680, was the residence of the founder of the America peace movement and Brighton's first post office established in 1817.

    Rourke's or the Washington Building c1930. The Washington building, dating from 1909, is the portion facing Washington St with the awnings. The rear portion facing Market St is the Imperial Hotel built in 1909

    c1950 Looking East. Note St Elizabeth's in the center with the original buildings before expanding onto Cambridge St

    The Baldwin & Murdock grocery store, Brighton's oldest store, was established in 1811 at 343 Washington St. In 1830, the store was acquired by William Warren who converted it into a combination drug store, grocery and depot for the sale of school supplies. It is said to be the oldest established business in Brighton. In 1879, the present Warren Building was constructed on this site.

    The Brighton Five Cents Savings Bank and Brighton Bakery at 326 and 328 Washington St with an array of workers and horse drawn carriages engaged in their daily activities. The bank had its headquarters here (see map above) opposite the Town Hall until 1926. These building were demolished in 1929 to make way for the Egyptian Theater.

    1905 looking west. The building by the lamppost on the left was Brighton's General Store. The taller mansard-roofed building to the right of this lamppost at the Chestnut Hill Ave intersection was the National Bank of Brighton (see 1895 map above)

    Courtroom inside the Brighton Town Hall

    Town Hall. Soldiers during what might be a Civil War commemorative event

    Warren Hall c1980. The Doors played here in 1967 in a short lived rock club called the Crosstown Bus. Gertrude Ellis remembered in a 1971 oral history interview that "Warren Hall in Brighton Center used to be rented for dances, entertainment and the like. I remember going there for free ice cream on the Fourth of July, which I think was furnished by the city for children".

    Nagle Hotel in 1922 at the corner of Washington and Winship Streets.

    The Nagle building c1980 which was to the right of the Nagle Hotel. The word "Nagle" can be seen at the top between the bay windows over the "Tap" sign. Built in 1892, the Nagle Building at 300-310 Washington Street is a fine example of a Queen Anne commercial/residential block. As early as 1875, this site was occupied by 4 small wooden buildings which were evidently associated with Nagle's Hotel which stood at the northwest corner of Winship and Washington streets. By 1930, the Nagle Building housed Ryan Brothers Fruit (302), Arthur I. Russell, plumber (304), Brighton Center Pool Room (306) and Mrs. Fannie Dreyer's Variety Store. Tenants in the upstairs apartments were of Irish, Italian, French and German stock.

    The newer and larger Brighton Five Cents Savings Bank, dating from 1926, at the northwest corner of Washington and Wirt Streets in Brighton Center

    The Winship Mansion, built by Jonathan Winship II in 1780, stood on the site of the present District 14 Police Station. The Winships were the founders of the Brighton Cattle Market. In 1820 the mansion was sold to Samuel Dudley, who expanded the building, converting it into the Brighton Hotel. The building stood at the center of an extensive estate that spread north and south of this locality, much of it previously the property of Ebenezer Smith. The Winships resided here for forty years. It was here that General Lafayette stayed while visiting Brighton in 1826, on the nation's 50th anniversary.

    Brighton Hotel which was located at the current site of the Police Station. This was the town's largest hotel before the Cattle Fair was built in 1830. In 1824, General Lafayette visited the Brighton Hotel during his fiftieth anniversary tour of the United States.

    Architecture Walk

    The Historic Heart is home to one of Perth’s greatest collections of heritage buildings, together forming important streetscapes of late nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture.

    The collection of buildings includes Government House, the Perth Town Hall, the State Buildings, St George’s Cathedral, St Mary’s Cathedral, Fire Brigade No. 1 Station and the remains of Jewell’s Colonial Hospital. In addition to these well known Perth landmarks, there are also a number of beautiful private residences and commercial buildings, and a magnificent heritage-listed Moreton Bay Fig tree.

    Take the time to roam the streets of Perth's east end and discover our city's vivid past. The streets of the Historic Heart are waiting to be discovered.

    Our Architecture Walk is now available on our Historic Heart of Perth App - free to download from the App Store or Google Play.

    The Architecture Walk on our App is interactive, but you can also explore Historic Heart’s architecture with the help of our website. Just download our brochure with map and plan your walk - details below.

    Corner or Barrack and Hay Streets, Perth

    One of Perth’s heritage jewels, the Town Hall took some time to construct. The foundation was laid on 24 May 1867 by Governor Hampton, but it was not opened until 1 June 1870 by Governor Weld. The design was a joint production of James Manning and Richard Roach Jewell. Manning was responsible for all of the woodwork, including the magnificent roof, while Jewell designed and supervised the erection of the main building.

    All of the woodwork was constructed by prisoners in Fremantle, and the huge circular ribs for the roof were conveyed from the prison to Perth on a carriage specially constructed for the purpose. Convicts also assisted with the hard work of raising what was then Perth’s tallest building.

    What is now the ground floor was originally intended to be for markets, although the City Council was forced to convert some of the bays into offices. In 1875 explorer Ernest Giles arrived and his camels were parked in the undercroft while he attended a welcoming party in the main hall. The same year a horse-drawn fire engine began to be garaged underneath the Town Hall.

    In addition to Council activities, the Town Hall has also hosted concerts, exhibitions, bazaars, lectures, dances, skating, and stage shows. It was also the place that generations gathered every 31 December to hear the New Year rung in by the bells of its clock.

    Starting with just three small buildings to run all of State Government business, various additions were made to the site on the corner of Barrack Street and St Georges Terrace. It was not until 1890 that the complex started to take on its more familiar look, when architect George Temple Poole drew up plans for a new General Post Office in the French Second Empire Style. More buildings, and sometimes additional storeys were added to existing buildings, and in 1904 the facades of the older buildings were remodelled, giving the State Buildings their much-admired elevations which remain today.

    Over their 140-year history, the State Buildings have been used as Public Offices, a Police Court and cellblock, Treasury, Survey Department, GPO, Immigration Offices, office of the Premier and Cabinet, Lands Department and Titles Building.

    During the last half of the 20th century, various government departments left the building for new accommodation. After this, the site was empty for nearly two decades and a variety of proposals for its redevelopment never saw the light of day. However, it now has a new lease of life with a variety of upmarket bars, cafes and retail spaces, including the luxury COMO The Treasury Hotel.

    3. St George's Cathedral 1879

    Building a cathedral is no easy matter, so it is no surprise it took from 1877 to 1888 to raise the funds, draw up the plans and erect Perth’s premier place of Anglican worship. St George’s Cathedral owes its existence to the energy and foresight of Bishop Henry Parry who arrived in WA in 1877 and quickly realised his first task was to build a cathedral which would meet future needs.

    The building committee decided to put up a “good, plain Gothic building” and initially approached famous English church designer Arthur Blomfield, before finally settling on Sydney-based architect, Edmund Blacket. Since he died in 1883, sadly Blacket never got to see the finished cathedral, his only work in Western Australia.

    Funds were sought both in WA and in England, with one anonymous donor (who later turned out to the chair of the building committee, Sir Luke Leake) offering £2,000. With enough money raised to start works, it was decided to lay the foundations, build the naïve, aisles and transepts, and worry about towers, chapels and vestries at a later date.

    The foundation stone was laid on 2 November 1880, although it took until 8 August 1888 before St George’s Cathedral was ready for its first service. To complete the cathedral, a sum of more than £17,000 had to be raised, which is all the more impressive when you realise there were only 40,000 European settlers in all of Western Australia.

    4. Burt Hall 1918 and
    Cadogan Song School 2017

    Septimus and Louisa Burt decided to erect a memorial to their son Lt Theodore Burt, who was killed in action in France in 1916, aged just 23 years. After speaking with the Archbishop of Perth, the Burts decided to build a church hall adjacent to St George’s Cathedral. By the time the building was completed, another of their sons, Francis, had also been killed in action.

    The building was designed by architect George Herbert Parry, and Sir John Forrest, a friend of the Burts, laid the foundation stone for Burt Memorial Hall on 26 October 1917. The Hall was officially opened on 12 June 1918 in front of a ‘large and representative gathering of churchmen and citizens of Perth’. It was much praised by the West Australian.

    Over the years, Burt Memorial Hall has served as an important church and community venue, hosting many events including art shows, religious services and lectures and children’s Sunday School classes. Words from Heritage Perth

    The Cadogan Song School is a new concrete and glass building to service the choir of St George’s Cathedral and the Anglican Diocese of Perth. The building is located to the north of Burt Memorial Hall, with direct access to the lower level Hall, with the main entrance accessible from the Dean’s Yard’s.

    36 St Georges Terrace, Perth

    Constructed in 1906, St, Andrews Uniting Church was one of Perth’s first Presbyterian churches. The building’s Federation Gothic style of architecture was the achievement of architect James Hinse. Hinse incorporated red brickwork and sandstone detailing, which compliments the style of St George's Cathedral and Burt Hall at the adjacent Cathedral Square.

    The church was one of the principal places of worship for Presbyterians in Perth. St Andrew’s was the focus of Presbyterian activity in Perth for much of the twentieth century. The church closed its doors in 2009.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    The Cremorne Arcade provides evidence of the urban expansion and intensive building program that occurred in the City of Perth because of the State’s gold boom from the 1890s to World War I.

    A substantial commercial premise of this era, Cremorne Arcade illustrates the type of two-storey commercial building constructed in Perth in the early twentieth century, providing shops at the ground floor and offices at the first floor.

    For over twenty years from 1901, Cremorne Arcade was used as a business premises by Charles Harper, who served as Lord Mayor for Perth from 1937 to 1939.

    Today the Cremorne Arcade continues to be utilised for retail purposes with office space on the upper level.

    Built for the Swan Brewery Company Ltd in 1937, the Criterion Hotel (formerly the Regatta Hotel) is the only remaining Art Deco hotel in the Perth.

    Art Deco was a popular architectural style throughout Australia after the Depression, when building activity increased significantly from 1936. Hotels inspired by Art Deco architecture included the centrally located Adelphi Hotel (demolished in the 1970s) and the Bohemia Hotel (demolished in 1980s), along with the Raffles

    The Criterion Hotel is also significant as the site of the oldest continuously licensed public house in Perth, with a “pub” operating on the site of the Criterion Hotel since at least 1848.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    Pier Street comprises of an interesting collection of buildings and a pleasant streetscape. The precinct’s unique appearance is due to the amalgamation of diverse period buildings the Salvation Army Fortress and Federation period commercial buildings, the 1960s Railton Temperance Hotel and the later twentieth century Sebel Perth Hotel.

    The street is home to several retailers, including Australia’s longest standing independent record store, Dada’s Records. The iconic store is renowned for having the largest selection of new vinyl in the Southern Hemisphere.

    9. fmr Salvation Army Headquarters 1899

    The former Salvation Army Headquarters, constructed in 1899, is a conspicuous Perth landmark designed in the Federation Free style of architecture - complete with a fortress.

    Around the corner on Murray Street is the former Salvation Army Congress Hall, constructed in 1929-1930 in the Inter-War Georgian style. The two buildings are linked by a bridge over the adjacent laneway.

    Following its establishment in Western Australia in 1891, the Salvation Army quickly expanded throughout the colony and these buildings served as the administrative and social service headquarters of the organisation, a role it fulfilled for 90 years.
    No longer occupied by the Salvation Army, both buildings have now been re-purposed. The former Congress Hall is now apartments and the former Headquarters is now office space.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    After establishing Perth’s first authentic Miss Maud Swedish Pastry house in 1971, Maud Edmiston applied for the first alfresco dining area in Perth in 1979 for her restaurant the Miss Maud Smörgåsbord Restaurant on the corner of Pier and Murray Street.

    For over 45 years, Miss Maud’s has been serving Western Australia with traditional Swedish treats.

    The former Government Printing Office was built between 1894 – 1922 in the Federation Free Style. The original building was completed in 1894 at a cost of 4,144 pounds, with additions made in 1907 and 1922.

    The printer was responsible for the printing of Parliamentary papers, The Government Gazette, most of the official stationery of the various Government departments, and the publication of the scientific and professional papers prepared by the Government Geologist and other officers.

    No longer used as a printing office, the beautifully restored building is now home to Curtin University of Technology.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    12. fmr Perth Government Stores 1911

    Adjacent to the former Government Printing Office, the former Perth Government Stores was built in 1911 in the Federation Free Classical style, with the front façade employing Georgian elements.

    It is one of the many buildings designed by the Public Works Department under the direction of Hillson Beasley, its chief architect, and built by William Atkins, a well-known West Australian builder.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    13. fmr Salvation Army Congress Hall 1929

    The former Salvation Army Congress Hall was constructed in 1929-1930 in the Inter-War Georgian style. Around the corner on Pier Street is the former Salvation Army Headquarters, a conspicuous Perth landmark constructed in 1899 in the Federation Free style - with a fortress.

    Following its establishment in Western Australia in 1891, the Salvation Army quickly expanded throughout the colony and these buildings served as the administrative and social service headquarters of the organisation, a role it fulfilled for 90 years.
    No longer occupied by the Salvation Army, both buildings have now been re-purposed. The former Congress Hall is now apartments and the former Headquarters is now office space.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    14. fmr Chief Secretary 1912

    The former Chief Secretary Office was constructed in 1912 in the Federation Free Classical style with influences of Federation Free style. With its fine detailing and distinctive Donnybrook stone façade, the building is a landmark in the Murray Street precinct.

    Occupied by, several State Government departments dating from its construction in 1912 until 1992, the building now houses the Curtin University Law School.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    15. Young Australia League 1922

    The heritage listed Young Australia League (YAL) building at 45 Murray Street is a rare example of the Inter-War Free Classical style of architecture. It was built in 1922 to accommodate the club rooms and administration of YAL, an organisation originally established to promote the Australian rules football code. The foyer of the building now houses a museum of memorabilia associated with YAL’s early years.

    In contrast to the YAL building, the adjacent building at 55 Murray Street is an example of the Federation Queen Anne style of architecture. Originally built as a house, this is the only remaining residential style building in the east end of Murray Street - and a rare example of a substantial late nineteenth century house in central Perth. The house was the home of a prominent member of the Roman Catholic community, philanthropist, property investor and politician Timothy Quinlan who, together with his father-in-law, Daniel Connor, invested in significant land holdings in central Perth which became known as the Connor-Quinlan Estate.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    16. No 1 Fire Station 1901

    The No 1 Fire Station was the first purpose-built fire station in WA. It opened in 1901 and continued in operation until 1979.

    Before No. 1 Fire Station was built in 1900, the Fire Brigade operated from the undercover area beneath the Town Hall on Barrack Street. Fire brigades in Western Australia expanded rapidly after the Fire Brigades Act of 1898. There were just 21 in 1902, but twenty years later this number had doubled.

    The expansion of the service from 1898 meant the Central Fire Station under the Town Hall was no longer sufficient, so a new station was planned on the corner of Murray and Irwin Streets which opened in 1901. Designed by architects Cavanagh and Cavanagh, the new building was Romanesque in style, with solid rock-faced stone walls and a red-tiled roof.

    The large engine room had three exits and held two large steamers and two hose carts, which doubled the equipment with which the brigade had previously been working. When a call was received, an officer pressed a button, which set the alarms ringing, flooded the building with electric light, and opened the trap doors in the ceilings to clear the sliding poles.

    Today No. 1 Fire Station has been converted for use as a Fire Brigade Education and Heritage Centre, and is a popular museum and education centre, visited by both schools and the public.

    The Royal Perth Hospital Heritage (RPH) Precinct,located at the east end of Murray Street, is home to the first purpose built hospital in Western Australia. It was opened in 1855 and continues in operation today.

    The design of the buildings within the Precinct show changes over time in medical practice - as well as the development of State Government architecture from the construction of the first building in 1855 through to the 1930s. The Precinct is associated with a number of significant State Government Architects, including James Austin, Richard Roach Jewell, George Temple Poole, Hillson Beasley, William B Hardwick, A.E.’Paddy’ Clare, John Tait.

    The Precinct is comprised of the following buildings: Colonial Hospital (1855) with Outpatients’ Extension (1923), Administration Building (1894), Kirkman House (1908-09) with Nurses’ Quarters Extension (1926), Old Kitchen (1909), Cancer Clinic (1930), Moreton Bay Fig Tree (c.1900) and associated gardens.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    18. Victoria Square Cottages 1890s

    The Victoria Square Cottages provide a rare example of a nineteenth century residential group in Perth. The cottages were part of the suburban residential development of the city when it expanded at the turn of the twentieth century.

    The decorative treatment of the front elevations of the cottages, and the repetition of these elements across the group, establishes a grander scale for the place than could be produced by a single building. The visual quality of the landscape is enhanced by the descending terracing of the cottages, which reflects the natural fall of the land.

    From the 1890s until the 1970s, the cottages served as rental accommodation for workers and their families. From the early 1970s they have been used by various of its social welfare and religious service organizations.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    19. Archbishop's Palace 1855

    The Archbishop's Palace demonstrates the role played by Roman Catholicism in the early years of Western Australia and the growing wealth of the Roman Catholic community in Western Australia from 1855 onwards.

    In 1855 the first section of the Episcopal palace was completed. Remodelling of the building over the next 80 years illustrates the changing styles of architecture thought appropriate for official ecclesiastical buildings – with its styling changed to a more classically derived and simplified design.

    The Archbishop's Palace is held in high regard by members of the Roman Catholic community in Perth even though the Archbishop now resides elsewhere. The Archbishop's Palace is closely associated with Bishop Serra and Archbishops Clune and Prendiville.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    Few building projects in Perth have taken as long as St Mary’s Cathedral. When Michael Cavanagh drew up the plans for a new cathedral in the mid-1920s, he could never have imagined the building would only be completed some 80 years later. But the story of St Mary’s goes back to the very early Swan River Colony.

    The first Catholic cathedral, which still stands today, was the St John’s Pro-Cathedral. However, it quickly proved too small for the growing Catholic community, and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception replaced it in the middle of Victoria Square, on a spot originally allocated to the Anglican Church.

    In the mid-1920s, plans for an even more impressive cathedral were drawn up, but limited funds meant only extensions to the older church could be managed at the time. This new cathedral was named St Mary’s, and despite plans for its completion, it was not until the end of the 20th century that sufficient funds became available. After it reopened in 2009, St Mary’s Cathedral finally completed Cavanagh’s vision of a grand gothic church. Today it remains the centre of focus for Perth’s Catholics, and the most impressive place of worship in Western Australia.

    Public tours at 10.30am every Tuesday (except public holidays). Phone (08) 9223 1350. Admission: $5 donation. Tour tickets available at the Church Office at 25 Victoria Avenue.

    21. St John's Pro Cathedral 1865

    Being the first Catholic Church in the state, the Pro-Cathedral of St John the Evangelist is an important building for the history of the Catholic Church in Western Australia. It was the centre of Catholic life for the first twenty years of the Catholic Church in the Swan River Colony until the first St Mary’s Cathedral was completed in 1865.

    The Cathedral is constructed of brick which has been covered with lime render and painted ochre to resemble the colour of the original building. Arched windows frame the building with wooden mullions and clear glass.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    22. Mercy Heritage Centre 1871

    Located within the Convent of Mercy built in 1871, the Mercy Heritage Centre is a space where people can share in the story of the first Mercy Foundation in Australia in 1846 and learn more about the Mercy ministries and various traditions which have developed since then.

    Open by appointment for guided tours. Admission is free.
    For further information visit Mercy Heritage Centre

    Corner of Hay and Hill Streets, Perth

    Established in 1899, The Perth Mint is the oldest operating mint in Australia, and Australia's only remaining gold rush mint.

    Join a heritage tour and visit The Perth Mint’s dazzling exhibitions. View the largest gold coin in the world valued at more than $50 million, see Australia’s biggest collection of natural gold nuggets, watch a gold pouring demonstration in an 1899 melting house, and more. Hear tales of the Mint’s golden past and learn of the gold mining legends that shaped Western Australia.

    Open daily from 9am to 5pm. Phone (08) 9421 7223 or
    visit The Perth Mint website for admission prices and tour times.

    24. Perth Concert Hall 1973

    5 St Georges Terrace, Perth

    The Perth Concert Hall is the main venue of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and also hosts a number of other events and performances. Acoustically, the venue is considered one of the best in Australia, with the design overseen by the New Zealand acoustician Sir Harold Marshall.

    The concert hall was opened on Australia Day (26 January), 1973. Designed by Howlett and Bailey Architects, local architectural firm, the building is constructed in the Brutalist style, making heavy use of white off-form concrete and a solid opaque interior. The main auditorium of the hall seats 1,729 people, as well as a 160-person choir gallery and a 3000-pipe organ. The building has two façades: facing north over St Georges Terrace, and facing south over the Swan River.

    Words from the City of Perth

    Tours of Government House are offered to groups every second Tuesday at 11am. Bookings are essential. For further details visit Government House Tours

    The grounds of Government House are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week from 12pm to 2pm for lunch in the grounds. Please note that the grounds are sometimes closed for work or private functions, so we recommend calling ahead. For further details visit Government House Grounds

    27 St Georges Terrace, Perth

    Council House was designed by two young Melbourne architects - Jeffrey Howlett and Donald Bailey - who were awarded the commission after a nationwide design competition. The walls consist of floor-to-ceiling double-glazed sealed windows in aluminium frames. One of the most distinctive elements of the building is the pattern of T-shaped sunshades placed uniformly against the four walls.

    While Council House is now regarded by experts as the best example of modernist architecture in Perth, there were periods when its future was in serious jeopardy. In the 1990s, just 30 years after its grand opening, there was a push to demolish the building because it did not fit with the State Government of the day’s vision for Perth, in particular the notion that the area around Council House and Stirling Gardens should become a ‘Heritage Precinct’. The term ‘heritage’ was being used by to describe a certain historic style of architecture, rather than recognising that modern structures can hold heritage value. There was considerable public debate over the future of the building which brought on a strongly fought campaign by architects and the community to save Council House. It was heritage listed in 2006.

    27. The Supreme Court 1864

    Stirling Gardens, cnr Barrack Street & St Georges Terrace, Perth

    The Supreme Court is an excellent example of Federation
    Academic Classical architectural style used for major public buildings in the early 1900s. Its formal proportions and grand scale and design represent the role of the legal system in society and respect, being the main law enforcing institution in the city.

    Construction of the Supreme Court was a major technical design achievement on a difficult site on the edge of the river in the early 1900s. The building features a dignified setting, largely concealed by dense gardens, which shield it from its public surroundings.

    Words from the Heritage Council

    28. Old Court House Law Museum 1837

    Stirling Gardens, cnr Barrack Street & St Georges Terrace, Perth

    Perth’s oldest building has the unique claim of being the key place where religion, education and the law were truly born in the young colony. Before the Old Court House was opened in 1837, a temporary ‘rush church’ on the corner of Hay and Irwin Streets had doubled as place of worship and court.

    This tradition of multiple use was continued when Perth’s civil engineer, Henry Reveley, was tasked with designing “a suitable building as a court-house which could likewise be appropriated to the uses of a temporary church”. He drew up plans for a simple building with a distinctive Doric entrance, and construction started in 1836.

    Opening on Good Friday, 24 March 1837, for worship, the Old Court House started hearing law cases the following morning. Everything from a boy charged with stealing a melon to a man suspected of murder were all held in the one place. Sometimes the school which also used the room had to be interrupted if an important case was to be heard.

    From 1905 to 1964 the Arbitration Court was held there, after which it became the offices for the Law Society of Western Australia. From 1987 it has been the Old Court House Law Museum which is open to anyone who wishes to explore Western Australia’s fascinating legal past.

    Watch the video: Rhine Falls Live Camera streeeam (July 2022).


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