A commercial building for most of its life, the original Town Hall, built in 1864 was an important gathering place in early Akaroa.


Category:  Public building
Date: 1864
Street address:  60 Rue Lavaud
HPT registered? No
District Plan listed? Yes

This building has been used for most of its life as commercial premises, but it began its life as Akaroa’s Town Hall. It was designed by C.M. Igglesden and built by two local builders, Cullen and Penlington, under the supervision of J.F. Roberts.

When it opened, it included a large assembly room with a semi-circular ceiling and a smaller reading room and library. It quickly became the scene of civic functions and social events, including annual balls to mark the anniversary of the arrival of the Comte de Paris (see French Landing Site). The Literary Institute met in the building until 1875, when it built its own library and reading room (see Coronation Library).

The opening of the Oddfellows Hall (see Gaiety Theatre) in 1879 saw public use of the Town Hall decline. In 1904 it was moved a short distance and converted for use as a drapery store, with a verandah on its street frontage. It subsequently housed a series of shops and a restaurant and takeaway. and has been significantly altered Its owners since 1993 have taken care to ensure the remaining features of its Italianate design on the side and rear walls, including Classical detailing and Palladian windows, have been retained.

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