The Durban City Hall is an impressive and historic site that is a must see when visiting Durban, it’s in the middle of the city centre and exudes an allegorical character.
The Durban City Hall is a great classical historical site that has stood the test of time. This marvelous structure originally erected as a town hall, stands gracefully as the epitome of the Durban city centre. This flamboyant neo-Baroque style architecture houses the city’s municipal chambers, the city’s public library, auditorium, the Durban Art Gallery and the Natural Science Museum.
This robust Durban City Hall was the second built, the first town hall having been utilised as the Durban Post office. The rapid expansion of Durban in the late 1800’s warranted a bigger city hall to be built necessitating a move from the small town hall.
In the year 1903 the then town council invited architects to submit designs for the new town hall. Stanley G. Hudson submitted the winning design which was inspired by or rather a replica of the city of Belfast’s City Hall in Northern Ireland.
Mayor Ellis Brown played a great role in convincing leaders that building the city hall was the right thing to do. Construction of the Durban City Hall took a period of five consecutive progressive years and a budget of £300 000. In april 12, 1910 the colonial structure was complete and would stand as one of Durban’s great landmarks and heritage.
“One of the finest things in South Africa” was how mayor Ellis Brown described the town hall about six months before construction began. The Durban City Hall has certainly proved itself to be a fine structure with its bold designs and sculptors.
The Durban City Hall is but one of many great landmarks that can be found in and around the Durban CBD. A tour of the Durban city is one that is rich in sites, culture, heritage and history.