South Brisbane Town Hall

Sth Brisbane

This rare and highly accomplished piece of 1891 architecture was designed as the South Brisbane Municipal Chambers by John Murdock who went on in the 1920s to become Chief Architect of the Commonwealth.

Halfway through its construction the builder Abraham James fell victim to the severe economic downturn and a new builder John Stewart & Co took over to complete the job in 1892. Although its free classical design was so ornate as to eventually rival the City Hall and its eventual stature as the South Brisbane Town Hall, due to some belt-tightening at the start it was only ever commissioned to be a Municipal Chambers.

In 1904 the four dial tower clock, the first electrically driven clock system in the country, was installed. Other conspicuous moments in its history included the occupying of the hall by the American Military Police in 1942, during which time a large stained glass window was removed to facilitate a connecting walkway to Somerville House which was a Base Three Army Headquarters at the time. It wasn’t until 1986 that a replica window was put back in its place.

Stints as the Conservatorium of Music and a TAFE centre followed WWII and today it is occupied by the administrative centre of Somerville House.

Sth Brisbane Town Hall 

263 Vulture St

South Brisbane


263 Vulture St, South Brisbane, Queensland

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