Consultation now open on plan to protect historic Geelong Town Hall

members can now have their say on a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP)
for the Geelong Town Hall, which aims to protect the building’s significant
heritage values into the future.

Council gave its approval in April to release the ‘Draft Geelong Town Hall Conservation
Management Plan’ for public consultation for eight weeks. The plan gives
council guidance as it considers the space’s future use and development, and
ensures any alterations and additions don’t have a detrimental effect on the
heritage significance of the place.

The majority of
staff will leave City Hall in 2022 to the new Civic Accommodation Building,
leaving large parts of the historic building available for new use. This shift
paves the way for the Geelong Art Gallery to extend into City Hall and for part
of City Hall to be retained for civic meetings and ceremonial functions, a move
council supported in 2018.

Most of City
Hall’s heritage values lie in its exterior architecture and small remnants of
the early interior, allowing for substantial modifications to the interior and
some scope for exterior changes or additions to the most modern part of the
building which adjoins the Art Gallery.

Future uses of
the building would depend on some of the following considerations:

  • requiring the least disruption to the place’s
    significant fabric and setting
  • potentially supporting or being complementary to uses
    in the building’s vicinity (including the Art Gallery, Library and
    Heritage Centre, Johnstone Park) and
  • doesn’t require significant alteration of internal
    spaces identified as being of primary significance.

Council will
carry out its heritage obligations by complying with the plan’s
recommendations, which will also assist in obtaining a Heritage Victoria permit
for any works.

Councillor Stephanie Asher – Mayor

Geelong City
Hall is a beautiful building that deserves to be looked after into the future.

I encourage the
community to read through the draft plan and its historic photos, and have
their say.

Councillor Trent Sullivan – Chair, Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio

I feel lucky to have the chance to work in City Hall, as it has
such significant heritage and cultural importance in our region since its
construction in 1855 and 1917.

It’s important we don’t lose sight of our past and protect the
remaining heritage values of Victoria’s earliest surviving municipal building.

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