Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Town Hall Tuesday

COVID brought an abrupt end to Town Hall Tuesday, but then when in Prahran last week, ok, here is the Prahran Town Hall and I see it so often I forgot about it. I haven't taken a camera photo since lockdown. All have been phone photos and these are too. It is a ten minute tram trip from here, plus a short walk, or maybe a forty minute walk. The area is strip street shopping but there is Pran (sic) Central. The comments on my 2008 post are fascinating to reread.

The once City of Prahran is now covered by the City of Stonnington after council amalgamation. Prahran Town Hall and Malvern Town Hall are the only town halls within the amalgamated area...I think.

It is not definitive, but Pur-ra-ran was an local Aboriginal tribal name for 'land partially surrounded by water'. It is an odd name to pronounce for those who don't know. Close is Pruran but often the first r is dropped.

Prahran Town Hall was built no doubt with gold boom money in 1861 to a design by architects Crouch and Wilson. Oddly, and I know nothing about this, the Wikipedia entry says the clock tower was truncated in the 1960s. Very strange. Why?

It is located on the corner of Chapel and Greville Streets and is now a community space, with some council offices and a library. It is right on the street without a setback which in my opinion detracts from its grandeur.



A photo with the non truncated clock tower, and in my opinion it looks better. I note the windows below the clock are quite different too. Ok, I am getting out of this rabbit burrow before hours disappear.


27 comments:

  1. It is a grand old building.
    I think I like it being right on the street. It gives a more accessible feel (and so it should).
    I like it being repurposed to include a library too. Ours are mostly stuffed into very modern and often very ugly buildings.

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    1. EC, I suppose there is that aspect to it, feeling accessible. Many of our town halls are imposing. Apparently the library has been in the town hall for many years.

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  2. It's odd there is no information easily available about the truncation.

    Perhaps the alteration in 1955 was a precursor to the 1960 truncation...

    In 1926 the post and telegraph office and post master's residence were relocated and the vacated areas became available for council use. Other alterations included the removal of the balcony from the old town hall in 1953 and the removal of the timber structure from the top of the tower in 1955.

    https://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/957

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    1. Seeing you've raised our interest as well as your own, Andrew...perhaps you could make enquiries with the relevant authorities as to why the clock tower was truncated...just a thought. :)

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    2. Thanks for the link Lee. Very interesting. I you look at this old photo of the town hall you can see what was removed and then go back to my photo and the current look is quite odd and just not quite right. I expect it was a maintenance matter. Cheaper to just chop it off and square things up. Could have been a pigeon roosting area too. I've added the old photo to the post.

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    3. Thanks, Andrew...the pigeon idea could very well be the reason.

      The Gympie Town Hall had a clock tower...and the clock would strike on the hour, every hour, day and night.

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  3. The clock tower looks completely different. It must have had major faults and was rebuilt. Nice building.

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    1. Cro, yes I can't imagine the city going to that expense without it being faulty. Not everything old was well built.

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  4. A town hall had to be the proudest public building in Prahran or any other area. I have lived geographically between Prahran Town Hall, Malvern Town Hall and Glen Eira Town Hall since 1963s and loved them all, inside and out.

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    1. Hels, you have triangulated yourself. How about squaring yourself and adding in St Kilda Town Hall.

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  5. All the Town Halls I know are right on the street with no setback. Our Adelaide City Town Hall doesn't have a clock tower, the old Post Office across the street from it does, which makes me wonder if maybe the old post Office was once the Town Hall? but I can't be bothered finding out.

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    1. River, most of ours are. When looking for a photo of something else I came across a photo I had taken of a splendid town hall that wasn't filed where it should have been. I soon discovered it was the town hall at Glenelg. I think it is unlikely about the town hall and post office in Adelaide. It was often the case as you describe.

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  6. Beautiful building and as for the clock tower, how grand was the old one.
    I should imagine a history group for the area on FB maybe someone would know why it was altered.

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    1. Margaret, the City of Stonnington has a very active historical society and someone there would know.

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  7. The world needs more clock towers, before people forget how to read analog clocks.

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    1. Good point Travel. I make a point of saying ten to one and not twelve fifty.

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    2. I at times see young minds churning to work that out.

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  8. I don't think I could pronounce that correctly.

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    1. Strayer, with an American accent, I am not sure what it would sound like. Apparently you put much more emphasis on r sounds than we do.

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  9. Yeah, I was going to say the same thing about the windows. It looks like the tower was almost entirely rebuilt, not just truncated. Weird!

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    1. I agree Steve. Defective I suspect.

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  10. I like the accessibility of the town hall. And I agree, the truncation spoiled the quite lovely lines of the original including the window replacement.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, it certainly has an odd looking top finish to it.

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  11. I read your link regarding Mother Teresa, but of course, I still love and admire her greatly. Her greatest message was Love. There are poor people in our neighborhood, too. They may not look poor, but they are poor because they feel unloved.

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    1. Gigi, I always think of your island state as not having poor or sad people, but then I don't know a lot about it.

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  12. I like the original town hall better, but it's still a handsome building.

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    1. Sandra, you could say, nice body, shame about the head.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.