Monthly Archives: April 2014

Civic Hall ~ Reopen, Revitalize!

This free forum will look at a range of options for restoration and adaptive reuse of the Civic Hall and its site,  to create an exciting community hub for Ballarat. Also featured will be great examples from Ballarat and Melbourne. 

CH Public Meeting BMI

Jeremy Gadens: Director of The Substation, Newport.
Phil Roberts: Secretary, Ballarat Mechanics Institute
Ammon Beyerle: Co-Director of Here Studio, Co-Founder of Hub Melbourne and Ballarat Coworking.

2pm Sunday 25 May at Ballarat Mechanics Institute
117 Sturt Street, Minerva Space. (First floor – lift & wheelchair access)
Meet the speakers over afternoon tea and view Civic Hall memorabilia afterwards.
RSVP appreciated for catering: 0419 324042 or

See more information on Civic Hall and other local news on Weekend Notes. Ballarat has several writers providing content for this online magazine.

Free Forum!!

“Civic Hall – Reopen, Revitalize!”: Sunday 25 May, 2pm, at Ballarat Mechanics Institute.


  • Jeremy Gaden, Director of The Substation;
  • Phil Roberts, Sec of BMI;
  • Ammon Beyerle from Coworking & Here Space

They will talk about adapting and restoring old buildings for new and old uses, and share exciting visions for the future of the Civic Hall.

Everyone welcome!

Council allows SCH tradesmen to inspect Civic Hall

Save Civic Hall last year asked if a team of tradespeople and experts could inspect particularly the Lower Hall with a view to them providing their services free of charge to return it to community use.

This happened on 27 March. While we are still waiting for all their reports the general consensus was that the Civic Hall remains structurally sound and able to be repaired and returned to community use.


Above left: Entrance to Lower Hall. Right: Main Hall

Those inspecting the Lower Hall and the main hall were shocked at the lack of maintenance and security. Many of us visited the main hall when Council allowed limited viewing in 2012 but more recent graffiti is obvious in these photographs. It shows that people are continuing to gain access to the building.

While this remains a potential asset to the community, one would expect our Council to ensure that it is safe and secure.

Keep your Objections coming!

Council has agreed that objections may still be lodged up till they finally make their decision. Save Civic Hall has to date gathered over 2,125 written objections, and presumably many other people have delivered them or submitted online.

Council now seems to be considering postponing its application for demolition while it considers the offer of Premier Napthine to relocate Vic Roads to the Civic Hall site.  This is dependant on whether the Liberal Government is re-elected. So there would be another delay while the building deteriorates further.

However, the Mayor is actually using the term “adaptive re-use” instead of demolition now!

It may be worth looking at the ABC TV report on this.
Check out their current 7-storey high, ugly office block in Kew. Can this really be accommodated beside the Civic Hall?  What would that do to the skyline of Ballarat’s CBD?

Of course, it’s great to see opportunities for Ballarat, though it will not bring 400 new jobs to Ballarat as the Premier declared. The plan is to relocate the existing staff from Melbourne. Personally, I hope they consider other, more suitable sites, and leave the Civic Hall for a community hub, not overshadowed by what would be the biggest building in Ballarat.

In the meantime, Save Civic Hall encourages you to continue to send in your objections, reminding Council that it is our community space, so that whatever is decided, demolition is not part of it. And that the site is retained primarily for community use.