Monday, August 16, 2010

Hamilton Town Hall

Racecourse Rd at Hamilton is one of Brisbane's trendy new food precincts. Restaurants, cafes and delis now line the length of the street, and there is a hotel and wine store thrown in for good measure. Of course, at the northern end of the street you'll find Eagle Farm Racecourse. Patrons can move seamlessly from the track to a restaurant after the last race, and those who have had winning days can party on well into the night. After big race days like Melbourne Cup you can see all types leaving the racecourse - men in suits, men in singlets; women in high heels, women in bare feet carrying high heels.

Down towards the Kingsford Smith Drive end of Racecourse Rd you will find the building I have pictured below. It is the Hamilton Library, owned by the Brisbane City Council.

(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

This building was constructed in 1920 as the Hamilton Town Hall - one of several town halls that were scattered around before the City of Brisbane was formed. Hamilton had split off from Toombul in 1890, and operated as a separate entity after that, although council meetings were still held at Toombul. The council purchased land on Racecourse Rd in 1917 in order to build a town hall and council chambers. In 1919, Montague Stanley supplied plans and specifications for the buildings, and they were completed in the following year at a cost of £8,873. Montague Stanley was the son of well-known architect FDG Stanley whose work we have also seen in these pages. A photograph of the finished town hall is shown below - it was taken in 1924.(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #34338)

In 1925, the first Greater Brisbane Council was elected, and all the little town halls and shire halls became redundant. This one was kept by the Brisbane City Council and has lived through a few variations since then. It was a School of Arts for a while, then WWII intervened and it was used by the Australian Army. It first became a library after the end of the war.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Against the tide

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