Every city has some sort of a public building ( usually called “Town Hall) that is used for town government and meetings. Auckland’s Town Hall on Queen Street was opened in December of 1911 and its Renaissance Revival architecture was specifically designed to fit its wedge-shaped piece of land that the city acquired back in 1870. Modeled after the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, it was Auckland’s first permanent seat of both administration and entertainment. According to some, it’s Great Hall (with seating for more than 1600) has the best acoustics in the world and is the most elaborate of all the rooms in the building. Volcanic basalt from Melbourne, Australia and Oamaru limestone from New Zealand’s North Island we’re used to construct the exterior of the Town Hall. With a few modifications over the years, the Great Hall’s organ is the largest musical instruement in the country. Featured throughout all the main rooms of the structure, the beautiful stained glass windows are original to the building. Art-Nouveau-styled electric light fittings and wood paneling cover the semi-circular Council Chamber. The vacant former mayoral office suite became home to the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra’s administrative staff in 2016 and its principal concert venue is the Town Hall. While open for performances, Auckland’s Town Hall is not usually open for tours but rather for city business only. There are a few public areas (such as the main reception area, the central stairway, and the Great Hall, etc.) that are accessible for viewing.
Queen street’s most famous resident, Auckland’s Town Hall (our apartment is off to the left, just behind that tree).
Looking through the main entrance, the central stairway is impressive looking...
...and even more so as you get closer.
Town Hall as it looked in this 1920 archival photo.
Now used for “smaller” meetings and wedding receptions, the original Council Chambers was where much of the city’s business was discussed...
...until the newer semi-circular Council Chamber was built.
The Great Hall is the primary entertainment room of the building and is home to Auckland’s Philharmonic Orchestra. It is said to have the finest acoustics in the world.
Installed in 1911, the Town Hall organ is said to be the largest musical instrument in New Zealand.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.