Erskineville’s chocolate town hall reopens for 75th year

Erskineville’s chocolate town hall reopens for 75th year

Erskineville and Alexandria residents are invited to the official opening of Erskineville Town Hall, which has been restored to its former glory in time for its 75th anniversary.

The historic building’s official opening, from 10am-1pm on Saturday 23 March, will give residents a guided tour, a chance to learn about some of the City of Sydney’s key projects in the area and an update on the Ashmore precinct.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the town hall had been a community hub in the heart of the local shopping area since 1938.

“This stunning restoration will ensure future generations can enjoy the town hall’s splendour,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The workmanship has been extremely skilful, restoring brick façades and parapets of this inter-war building.”

Works included installing new roofing, replacing electrical wiring and services, and a new environmentally sustainable gas-powered air-conditioning system and photovoltaic panels. An access ramp at the main public entrance will ensure the building is accessible to everyone.

At the opening event, residents can also learn more about the City’s bikeprograms, parking and traffic management, Coulston Street pedestrian link, Sydney Park improvements and grants program.

The chocolate brick building with stone-coloured dressings is located on the corner of Erskineville Road and Septimus Street.

The originalErskinevilleTown Hallwas built on an adjacent site in the 1880s following the incorporation of the Macdonaldtown Municipal Council in 1872. In 1893, Macdonaldtown was subdivided and the suburb of Erskineville was established, with the first mayor elected the following year.

The Victorian-era town hall was to be demolished due to the widening and realignment ofErskineville   Roadin the 1930s, so in 1936 plans for the newErskinevilleTown Hallwere drawn up by Grafton-born architect Lindsay G Scott – the honorary architect for the Surf Life Saving Association.

The foundation stone for Mr Scott’s civic building was installed on 1 December 1937 and construction works, which included glass from the original town hall, were completed by C Hayter and Son in 1938.

An article from Decoration and Glass magazine in November 1938 reported on the building’s completion.

“The Renaissance period was called on for inspiration and this was probably the most suitable style for the awkward site,” the magazine said.

“The plan is centred around a columned porch, behind which an octagonal tower rises above the main roof line . . . a terrazzo floor is the outstanding feature of the octagonal vestibule. It is in green and buff squares, with an intricate centre pattern in five colours.”

Erskineville Town Hall has been placed on the City’s heritage register as  a fine example of the growth of small municipal councils in NSW during the 1870s to 1940s and one of three town halls from the same period ─ the others are at Petersham and Rockdale ─ that feature art deco influences, a central clock tower and a classical entry portico.

The City’s first stage of refurbishment works were carried out in 2005 and included general painting and new carpet.

The second stage followed in 2008 and involved repairs to the hydraulic services, refurbishment of amenities, fit-out of a neighbourhood service centre and removal of asbestos.

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For media enquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Jodie Minus phone 0467 803 815 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matt Levinson on 0427 044 768 or email