11 Sept, 2023

Adelaide Town Hall conservation project

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Work will begin today on the $4.6 million Adelaide Town Hall façade restoration, with heritage experts Duratec appointed to conserve the famous city landmark.

Since opening in 1866, minor repairs have been made to the exterior but this is the first time extensive conservation works will be undertaken to restore the façade which has cracking, decaying render, delamination and water shedding issues.

Duratec will start constructing external scaffolding on Pirie Street today but works will not begin on the King William Street frontage until February. The project is expected to take 16 months.

The Adelaide Town Hall will remain open and operational for all events and Council business throughout the works. However, access to the balcony will be restricted at times.

Conservation works will include cleaning, repairing cracks and stone, repointing mortar and addressing water drainage. There will be no works to the interior of the Town Hall.

Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith said this was an important project to preserve the historical and cultural significance of the building.

“The City of Adelaide is the oldest council in Australia and as custodians of this exquisite building, it is our responsibility to invest in the conservation of the Adelaide Town Hall,” said the Lord Mayor.

“While there will be some temporary scaffolding on the exterior of the building, the public’s access will be maintained throughout the project and the Town Hall will be open for events and Council business.”

Duratec is an Australian company specialising in heritage restoration, with extensive national and local experience. Duratec State Manager Jonathan Barrett said, “Duratec is excited and honoured to be trusted with the restoration of the Adelaide Town Hall.

“Heritage buildings are unique pieces of our history and restoration work needs to be performed in a way that maintains the original fabric of the building.”

Completed in 1866 using South Australian resources and stone from Tea Tree Gully, the Adelaide Town Hall at the time was considered the largest municipal building south of the Equator. Since then it has hosted everyone from royalty to pop icons, with a succession of members of the Royal Family, the Beatles, Cher and The Dalai Lama.

For more information

Jack Berketa