Building Details - Architects of South Australia

Building NameClare Town Hall
Client NameClare Town Council
Street No.
Street NameHorrocks Highway
Year Designed1924
Year Completed1926
Other ConsultantsContractor, A.J. Bowley
Heritage Listing

Designed to replace the original Town Hall which was completed in 1866. The original is on the State Heritage Register.

On Monday 17 November 1924, the Clare Council held a special meeting at which they resolved to ask Chris A. Smith to provide detailed specifications and costings for the proposed town hall. The Council must have been satisfied with his proposal as Smith subsequently called for tenders for the new Town Hall on 27 February 1925.

The Clare community had agitated for better civic facilities for some years. The wish was eventually propelled forward by the donation of £250 by the Clare Branch of the Returned Sailor and Soldiers’ Association towards the purchase of the old mill site on Main Street. The remainder of the money required for the entire project, some £8000, was subscribed locally in the form of debentures, reflecting regional prosperity and faith in the venture.

The building project proudly used 90% local labour. Its Corinthian design and imposing entrance of an arch supported by double pillars were in accordance the desired architectural language of government and led to residents proudly claiming that it was ‘as good as any country town hall in the Commonwealth’. Over a thousand people gathered to witness the opening of the latest testament to progress, other recent achievements being the district high school, hospital and the £73,000 electric lighting scheme by the Mid-Northern Electrical Company. His Excellency the Governor, Sir Tom Bridges, performed the honours on Wednesday 21 April, 1926. The toast to the architect and contractor declared that ‘the nightmare of those pillars on the footpath has vanished’ and Smith was congratulated on his plan.

‘New Town Hall for Clare’, Northern Argus, 27 February 1925: 5.
‘The Clare Town Hall. Opened by the Governor. Progress of Mid-North Centre’, Register 22 April 1926: 10.
‘Clare New Town Hall’ 1925: Smith Collection, Architecture Museum.

Architect NameSmith, Christopher (Chris) Arthur

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