5. Town Hall

Chambers for the new municipality

The North Perth Road Board District was gazetted in March 1899 and North Perth was declared a municipality in 1901. The following year, a Town Hall and Council Chambers were built on View Street. The building, now known as the Lesser Hall, was designed by Henry James Prockter as one part of a larger Town Hall complex and was used as the municipal chambers and offices.

North Perth Town Hall Under Construction
North Perth Town Hall Under Construction, 1902

In 1910, a larger hall, known as the Main Hall, was built on the adjoining site in response to the suburb’s continued expansion. It was erected in approximately the position envisaged by Prockter for the central, and largest, of the three halls in his design. The third hall in Procter’s plans never eventuated. The Main Hall included a stage and was used for community events, speakers and entertainment, including afternoon and evening concerts and charity performances.

North Perth Council Disbanded

In 1914, the Municipality of North Perth amalgamated with the City of Perth to form the Greater Perth Council. North Perth no longer had its own mayor and town council. The halls were then used as district halls, overflow classrooms for the North Perth School, a venue for several lodges and friendly societies, private events, and as an infant health centre.

Wedding Party at North Perth Town Hall
Wedding Party outside  North Perth Town Hall 1915
Children in a Dancing School, North Perth Town Hall 1932
Children in a Dancing School, North Perth Town Hall 1932

In 1933, the Main Hall was enlarged with an addition to the front, bringing the building line to the same level as the Lesser Hall. Additions included two cloakrooms at the front and dressing rooms and conveniences at the back. A connecting area containing a kitchen and two additional rooms was created between the buildings.  The total coast of the additions was £1,748. The Main Hall then became a venue for wedding receptions and dances which could include supper as part of the evening. It was also used for performances.  Professor Geoffrey Bolton recalled in a 2016 oral history interview:

“The kindergarten kids put on a play – two plays in fact – which were staged at the North Perth Town Hall in 1937. One was Who Killed Cock Robin where we all got to testify and the other was one where I know I had to play Jack Frost and fall asleep as the flowers of the spring and the sunshine came out, which I didn’t find hard to do. I think that would be my first encounter with the Town Hall but it was used for school functions and that sort of thing.”

Perth City band at a fund raising concert and dance at the North Perth Town Hall
Perth City band at a fund raising concert and dance, 1952

Today, the Main Hall is used as a venue for civic functions such as the council’s citizenship ceremony as well as hired for private events. The lesser hall is also hired out for functions and activities including classes, parties and receptions.

North Perth Lesser Hall 1968
North Perth Lesser Hall, 1968

Assets and References

Images Courtesy City of Vincent Local History Centre

  • PH00484 – North Perth Town Hall Under Construction, 1902
  • PH04653 – Wedding party of Maurice Ivey and Annie Gibson, taken on the east side of North Perth Town Hall, 1915
  • PH01973 – Perth City band at a fund raising concert and dance at North Perth Town Hall, 1952
  • PH01337 – North Perth Lesser Hall, 1968

Image Courtesy State Library of Western Australia

  • 8292B/A/5769-1 –  Children in a dancing school in the North Perth Town Hall. This image has been preserved and made available by the Historical Records Rescue Consortium (HRRC) Project supported by Lotterywest

City Of Vincent Local History Centre – OH0150 Geoffrey Bolton interview

Heritage Council of Western Australia –  Register of Heritage Places – Assessment Documentation

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