- Wellington Town Hall
- Established: 1904
In 1900 a competition was held for the design of the Town Hall to be built on the reclamation reserve at the foot of Cuba Street. The design of Joshua Charlesworth, under the nom de plume ‘Commonwealth’, was selected as the winning entry for its strongly drawn and well organised design in the classical Renaissance manner. The foundation stone was laid by the Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V) on 18 June 1901. Construction began in May 1902.
On Wednesday 7 December 1904 Mayor Aitken opened the Town Hall with a gold and greenstone key. A programme of events to celebrate the occasion was spread over four days. It involved the chorus and orchestra of the Wellington Musical union, various soloists, a choir of seven hundred children and a juvenile orchestra of 30 players.
The Town Hall auditorium, with its understated Victorian elegance, is celebrated as one of the few remaining auditoriums in the world still able to properly accommodate musical performances and also provide superior acoustics. It can comfortably seat 1714 people in theatre style. It also boasts a full-sized pipe organ from world-renowned organ builders Norman Beard.
Critics had repeatedly reported in the newspapers that the acoustics of the Wellington Town Hall were near to perfect and the Wellington Town Hall is rated amongst the top ten in the world for acoustics. This was a significant argument in the 1970-80s when the demolition of the Town Hall became a possibility.