Governor Generals, war heroes & sporting champions have been welcomed. Dozens of Debutante Balls, Hunt Balls, school Fancy Dress Balls, Flower Shows, Art Displays, Choir Festivals, private functions - 21st birthdays, engagements, weddings, reunions - gymnastics & indoor sports, have all used the Town Hall.
HISTORY OF THE TOWN HALL
Built in 1909 of Edwardian design, the Cambridge Town Hall is an iconic venue with character.
The Cambridge Town Hall is located in the Cambridge central business district, the site of the old “sale yards”, and is enclosed within a triangular land lot at the intersection of Victoria, Queen and Lake Streets. The front and southern façade overlooks an area of public space that includes a terraced precinct, cenotaph, town clock and landscaped Jubilee Gardens.
The idea of a new Town hall was first mooted in 1907 and was built in 1909, by Chappell and Wooley for a contracted price of 4699 pounds. The design was by Mr Arthur Bibra Herrold, an architect from Auckland. The foundation stone was laid on 21st April, 1909 by then Mayor W.F.Buckland and on 14th December of that same year the official opening took place. The Town Hall soon became the centre of attraction for local people. Films were regularly shown at the Town Hall, and in 1921 following the electrification of Cambridge, these were run by an electric motor. Travelling theatre groups, Cambridge Repertory Society and the NZ Symphony Orchestra regularly performed here. In 1918 it was used as an emergency hospital during the Influenza epidemic. Latterly Governor Generals, war heroes and sporting champions have been welcomed. Dozens of Debutante Balls, Hunt Balls, School Fancy Dress Balls, Flower Shows, Art Displays, Choir Festivals, Private Functions (21st Birthdays, Engagements, Weddings, Reunions), Gymnastics and Indoor Sports, have all used the Town Hall. It has hosted royalty – HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip for lunch in 1954 and later Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge in 2014.
The Public Library was built within the building supported by a donation of 1000 pounds from Andrew Carnegie – a North American philanthropist. The Borough Chambers moved into the Library premise in 1977, and more recently the Cambridge Visitor Information Centre.
The Cambridge Town Hall is registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category Class II, which means it is of “historical or cultural significance or value”.
TOWN HALL HISTORY TIMELINE
1909 – Opened by Mayor William Francis Buckland
1915 - Town Hall Pictures
1918 - Hospital influenza epidemic. Town Hall serves as emergency hospital
1927 - Amalgamated Pictures, 1st Picture House outside of Auckland.
1945 - Thanksgiving service to celebrate victory at the end of WWII
1954 - Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip hosted for lunch
1960s - Supper Room 1964 New Floor and toilets 1965 Central Heating
1982 - Prince William Theatre opens in the mezzanine
1983 - Council Chambers moved into the Carnegie Library
2000 - Cambridge Information Centre opened in Carnegie Library
2014 – Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit