Ballarat Civic Hall Tours and Art Deco Walks were very well attended at the Heritage Weekend

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The Civic Hall Tours:

People were amazed at the interior of the Civic Hall and more amazed at the Lower Civic Hall which has not been seen by the public since its closure.  The two halls are integrated by Coburn’s clever and unusual  design of fitting the Lower Hall underneath the stage of the main auditorium maximizing the use of the undulating land.  The upstairs which leads to the Long Room and Dress Circle is so iconic and forms the Art Deco facade seen from the front of the Civic Hall,  the carpet is in excellent condition as is the embossed ceiling of the main auditorium.  Most of the  beautiful light fittings are still intact.

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Both Halls have been the target of graffiti and vandalism over the years but the structures are robust and solid as they were built on a steel frame and built to last.  The tour showed  no evidence of structural damage or cracking of the plaster.  With re-fitting of toilets, kitchens, disabled access and the usual restorations associated with an older building, there is no reason why the halls could not be useful to the community once more.  

It is all up to us as a community to send a clear message to Council and attend the Open Door Studio and tell Here Studio staff what we like or do not like about the 10 concepts that have been developed following the 1st phase of the Community Design Process.  The Save Civic Hall Group advocate the full retention of both the Main Hall and the Lower Hall for community use.

The Open Door Studio is open for the 2nd phase of the process:

9.00am -5.00am Tuesdays

12.00 noon – 7.00pm Thursdays

1st Saturday of the Month 9.00am -1.00pm

The Art Deco Walks

The Art Deco Walks were as popular as ever and participants were delighted to be able to go into the foyer and see inside the hall.  The rain held off for the walks .  Robin Grow explained the significance of the Civic Hall and gave an insight to designer, Les Coburn’s work as an architect.  We were also educated on the progression of architecture moving from the Victorian Era to Art Nouveau and then into the Art Deco and Modernist period and the reasons for the progression.  Very informative!…we look forward to Robin Grow returning for next year’s Heritage Weekend.

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