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Town Hall - Second
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal

William STREET-WILSON: Design Architect

Type:Town Hall
Street:260 cor Church Street and Commercial Road

This replaced the 1st Town Hall which was destroyed in a fire on 12th July, 1898.

The building was formally opened in August, 1901 by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cornwall and York.

Three storey public building: main roofs in copper-subsidiary roofs in pitched corrugated iron: red brick walls with plaster bands and elaborate quoins. This landmark building of high character was designed by the architect, R. STREET-WILSON. The original City Hall was completed in 1893 and rebuilt, after the fire that destroyed it, in 1898. It was declared a National Monument in 1969. The City Hall is the largest red brick building in the southern hemisphere and takes its architectural style from the Flemish Renaissance, evident in the variety of gables and turrets which punctuate the parapet. An imposing campanile rises on the Church Street/Commercial Road corner and evidences some of the most elaborate detailing to be seen in the city. The entrances from Commercial Road and Church Street have heavily moulded brick and plaster portes-cochere. The Pietermaritzburg City Hall is one of the best known period buildings in the Republic and, with its sisters, Publicity House and the old Supreme Court, form a core in the heart of the city unequalled in the country.

[Bassett, Brian ed, 1986. The Buildings of Pietermaritzburg - Volume One. Pietermaritzburg: The Pietermaritzburg City Council. pp, 661-2.]

(PTW&B:56) (A plaque inside the main entrance reads: 'the hall was restored in 1901 by Street-Wilson & W. Paton' on the occasion of the visit of Royalty at that time)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 181 (photo), 182
Hartdegen, Paddy. 1988. Our building heritage : an illustrated history. South Africa: Ryll's Pub. Co. on behalf of the National Development Fund for the Building Industry. pg 73
Hillebrand, Melanie. 1975. Aspects of architecture in Natal, 1880 1914. Pietermaritzburg: Unpublished MA. Dept Fine Art and History of Art, University of Natal. pg 158