Municipal Chambers

38 The Octagon, Dunedin

  • Municipal Chambers.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Chris Horwell. Date: 4/02/2014.
  • Municipal Chambers.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Chris Horwell. Date: 4/02/2014.
  • Municipal Chambers. Building detail.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Chris Horwell. Date: 4/02/2014.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Registered List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1
List Number 2197 Date Entered 2nd July 1987

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City/District Council

Dunedin City

Region

Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 17134 Secs 52/54 Blk XVII Town of Dunedin

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The Municipal Chambers upon its completion in 1880 was the most impressive town hall in New Zealand reflecting Dunedin's economic prosperity at the time. It is of historical significance as the seat of local government in Dunedin for over one hundred years.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

Municipal Chambers is a major work by an architect of national importance. It is the only substantial town hall of the Victorian period remaining in New Zealand. It is a very well proportioned building incorporating crisp classical detailing and high quality craftwork. The latter is evident in the exterior stonework and the timber carved furniture and scrollwork of the main council chamber. Much of this craftwork is of a standard that would be very difficult and too expensive to produce today. Located in the heart of Dunedin in the Octagon, the building is an irreplaceable element in Dunedin's unique townscape of historic buildings.

TOWNSCAPE/LANDMARK SIGNIFICANCE

With St Paul's Cathedral, Municipal Chambers is visually the most impressive structure in the Octagon. The original landmark qualities of the building have been reduced by the decapitation of the tall clock tower and the construction of high rise buildings nearby. Nevertheless the building remains an important and irreplaceable component in the central city townscape.

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Notable Features

Exterior ornamentation.

Clock made by Gillet and Bland of Croydon.

Furniture and scrollwork in the Council Chamber.

Construction Details

Oamaru stone on a base of Port Chalmers stone.

Galer, 1982

L. Galer, Bricks and Mortar, Allied Press Ltd, Dunedin, 1982.

Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times

24 May 1980

NZIA National Award Winner 1991

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.