While the majority of Council Halls in Melbourne are known as "Town Hall", it appears Preston calls theirs, "City Hall". Preston City Hall is located at 284 Gower St (Corner High St and Gower St) in Preston. Council offices were located at the Junction Hotel up until 1895 when the Preston Town Hall was built at its present day site on the corner of High St and Gower St.
The council ran a competition to design the new building and plans for an eclectic blend of the Queen Anne and French Second Empire styles by the architects Birtwhistle and Scanlon was chosen. This design is particularly significant as most Town Halls in Melbourne conformed to a classical revival style. The 1880s were a time of great prosperity in Melbourne and the grandiose new Town Hall stood as a symbol for Preston’s civic aspirations. The foundation stone was laid in August 1893. The original design incorporated a magnificent clock tower which was unable to be built due to the financial crash of 1893 and subsequent depression.
As a result of population expansion in the 1920s the former Town Hall was no longer a suitable facility. In 1929 a new Town Hall was built east of the original building which increased the size of the municipal buildings from 25 to 100 squares. Much of these extensions and a new façade were completed in 1934 and are exceptional in their stylistic unity with the original Birtwhistle and Scanlon design.
The Preston Cenotaph (a monument built to commemorate deceased persons whose remains lay elsewhere) was constructed outside the Preston Town Hall at 360 High Street, in 1923. It was built to commemorate fallen service people from the First World War and paid for by public subscription. The inscription on the monument reads: ‘Erected by the Citizens in honour of the residents who served in the Great War 1914-1918 for King and Empire’.
Underneath the arch there is a second smaller monument. The plaque on this monument reads: ‘Dedicated to the memory of the citizens of the City of Preston who gave their lives and those who served their country during the Second World War 1939-45 and conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam’.
This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Photo of the Week meme.