Facelift to bring town hall back to glory days

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An artist’s impression of possible design changes to Albany’s Town Hall.
Camera IconAn artist’s impression of possible design changes to Albany’s Town Hall.

New function areas and a bar are envisioned for Albany’s Town Hall, part of upcoming renovations to bring the building “back to its former glory”.

Now out for public comment, the proposed modifications are part of a project to rejuvenate the venue, after the 131-year-old building was used less than once a week last year.

Inside, planners have proposed to replace the first floor’s stepped seating with a flat wooden surface, install a new bar and ticket facility, and an artists’ retail space.

The stage will also be upgraded to include a new proscenium arch above it.

From the outside, the most obvious upgrade will be the creation of a new lift and walkway.

Artist impressions suggest the additions will sport a surprisingly modern appearance, presenting a substantial addition to the northern side of the heritage building.

The asbestos roof will also be replaced, and front entrance upgraded.

The town hall was last renovated in 1983, with the City of Albany claiming these next upgrades will bring the hall “to its former glory of 1888”, when it first opened.

The upgrades, slated to begin in June this year and take about a year, could go some way towards making the town hall an accessible space for council meetings and City functions.

City of Albany chief executive Andrew Sharpe said the changes would bring new life to the building.

“The upstairs area will return to a flat floor like it was over a century ago, and many other original features will be reinstated too,” he said.

The upgrades are being paid for by a $1 million Lotterywest grant and the City.

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