City Hall and Legislative Wing(1878, 1881, 1891, 1963)

1 Centennial Square

 

chMayor Roderick Finlayson's first objective after his election to office in January of 1878 was to erect a city hall. Overriding the opinions of the townsfolk who considered the whole idea an unnecessary extravagance, $10,000 was allocated and a competition announced for plans. The winner was John Teague. City Hall was to contain a corn market, surveyors' quarters, apartments for the assessor, a jail, a police court, a council chamber, committee rooms and a museum gallery. The final form was a rectangular block, now comprising the south wing of the present City Hall. A good example of the Second Empire style, it is built in red brick with a tin mansard roof. The 1881 addition consisted of a small wing on the south-west corner for the Fire Department. In 1891 City Council approved a bylaw for the borrowing of $35,000 for the completion of the northeast addition. The new wing added to the existing building constitutes the present City Hall as it is seen today. In 1891, the main entrance was moved to the base of the tower block at the centre of the Douglas elevation. The facade is divided into three bays; the projecting centre bay carries the thrust of the 140-foot-tall brick and stone tower block. The entrance is further accented by a balustrade over the indented porch. On May 6, 1891, C. E. Redfern was awarded the contract for the installation of the clock, which had been manufactured by Messrs. Gillet & Johnson of Croydon, Surrey, England. Four 500-pound dials each 706 inches in diameter and the 2,170 pound bell had to be lifted into place. The clock requires winding once a week. Since 1891 there have been no major alternations, except those connected with the Centennial Square project in 1963. At this time the interior was completely renovated and an International Style addition was constructed at the west end. This was carried out by the architectural firms of Wade, Stockdill, Armour & Partners and R. W. Siddall & Associates, under the direction of Rod Clack, city architectural consultant and director of special planning projects.

 

An open glazed atrium links the old and new buildings. This and the new wing containing the council chamber and the mayor's and council members' offices is set off with metal screens. Brick, respectful of the Old Town built environment, is utilized here as with all the new buildings facing the square.

 

Architect: John Teague

Additions: Wade, Stockdill, Armour, R. W. Siddall, Roderick Clack

 

Photographs and Drawings

 

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