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Bridgetown Civic and Community Centre

Author

Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes

Place Number

00249
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Location

1 Steere St Bridgetown

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Bridgetown Town Hall
Mechanic's Institue (site)

Local Government

Bridgetown-Greenbushes

Region

South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1935, Constructed from 1936

Demolition Year

1982

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 18 Mar 1983
State Register Registered 19 Mar 2004 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
RHP - To be assessed Current 10 Dec 2004

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Classified by the National Trust Classified 08 Jun 1998

Heritage Council
Art Deco Significant Bldg Survey Completed 30 Jun 1994

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 28 Jun 2001 Category 1

Category 1

Highest level of protection appropriate: recommended for entry for entry into the State Register of Heritage Places; provide maximum encouragement to the owner to conserve the significance of the place.

Municipal Inventory Adopted 29 Mar 2018 Management Category A

Management Category A

Conservation of the place is essential. If not already, to be included on the Local Heritage List and recommended for assessment for entry into the State Register of Heritage Places (RHP). Development proposals to be assessed pursuant to SPP 3.5 Historic Heritage Conservation; a Conservation Management Plan (if one exists); and to reinforce the significance of the place. Places entered on the RHP are protected under the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990. Development applications will require referral to the State Heritage Office, unless exempt.

Statement of Significance

The Bridgetown Civic and Community Centre is highly significant architecturally, socially and historically for its role as a formal civic meeting place and offices.
Aesthetic Value
Bridgetown Civic and Community Centre is one of the most prominent buildings on the Hampton Street streetscape, due to its size, architectural design, Inter–War (Contemporary and Art Deco) style, and its double facade on the busiest intersection in town. The surrounding buildings are of an older and very different design, creating quite a contrast for the 1930’s style building. The complex is of very high aesthetic value.
Historic Value
The Bridgetown Civic and Community Centre is historic as the original meeting point for community members since 1877 with the construction of the Mechanics Institute on this site, where meetings, dances, weddings, movies and other social occasions were held. The replacement with more significant buildings has strengthened the integrity of the site which is still used for its original intentions and more.
Research Value
As the site of the Mechanics Institute, original town school and current buildings, there is a large scope for research on this site.
Social Value
This site has been an important community meeting place and emblem of the town and community spirit since 1877. The current building (1936) remains highly socially valuable as the Shire Administration Office and Town (and Lesser) Hall Complex, which is regularly used for social, educational, recreational and electoral purposes.

Physical Description

Cream coloured rendered three storey building, initially constructed in the Inter-War period that blends some Federation Free Classical style characteristics with more contemporary motifs. Later additions to the building were carried out in the Late Twentieth Century Post-Modern style. The building includes the crush hall (foyer), original town hall, ground floor corner office (which was purpose built for the Commonwealth Bank), rear ground floor administration office (original Lesser hall then Library), Lesser Hall (1982), second floor offices (1989) and the original third floor board room and private offices (which are similarly used now as Council Chamber and Committee room).
In 2015 the ground and second floor offices were refurbished and some internal walls altered /added.
For additional information refer to the Conservation Management Plan (2013).

History

The Bridgetown Town Hall was constructed on the site of the former Mechanic's Institute (constructed in 1877). In 1926 a meeting was held in the hall to discuss the erection of a new hall and in 1927 plans were drawn up by architects Edies & Cohen. With the tender eventually being awarded to W & WC Moyes, the new town hall was completed in January 1936, with the Mechanics Institute then being demolished/deconstructed to make way for the second stage of the build.
In 1936 it was reported: “The official opening of the Bridgetown Town Hall, Road Board Offices, Lesser Hall, Ladies' Rest Room, and Commonwealth Bank Chambers was performed by the chairman of the road board, Mr. W. P. Scott, at 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday July 15, [1936] before a very large gathering.”
The Commonwealth Bank moved out of the building in 1964, with the Shire Administration extending into the corner office space. The 1982 addition of the Lesser Hall to the east side of the town hall allowed space for the Library to move from its temporary space in the Old Courthouse, into the Civic Centre. In 1989/1990 the building was remodelled and extended to include the addition of an upper floor on the Hampton Street elevation and alterations to the administrative areas of the building. The extensions, designed by Lynne Sheen & Associates, complement the original building with similar detailing and finishes. The original corner entry to the building was closed. For additional information refer to the Conservation Management Plan (2013).

Integrity/Authenticity

High Integrity: The Bridgetown Civic and Community Centre retains very high integrity, with the only loss of purpose being the use of the corner ground floor office as a bank.
Moderate Authenticity: The Town Hall remains moderately authentic, despite the addition of a lowered acoustic ceiling in 1982 and the loss of the western side windows and door into the Civic Centre in 1990. The Administration Building has moderate authenticity, with large structural additions to the second floor in 1989/1990, the addition of a lift in 2012, and internal renovations to the first and second floor offices in 2015. At some stage the cantilevered verandahs over the administration entrance and front entrance to the main hall were removed, with a step, landing and ramp entry created at the Steere Street entrance to the administration building. Much of the original fabric of the complex remains intact, including timber ceilings, timber flooring (despite some termite damage and repairs), wall and door skirtings. The bio-box above the hall remains with equipment still in place, however there were changes made to the box at one point, to accommodate larger equipment, including a concrete floor and the removal of the external wall for installation, being replaced with plasterboard.

Condition

Good

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
Edies & Cohen Architect - -

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Conservation Management Plan 2013
Fran Taylor Register of Heritage Places Assessment Documentation Bridgetown the Early Years
Contemporary newspaper reports (trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper)
Sunday Times 26/07/1936

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
No.B22 MI Place No.
A5870 Assess No (Shire Ref)

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
5706 Bridgetown : a selection of historical buildings. Report 1989
10067 Conservation management plan for the Bridgetown Civic and Community Centre corner of Steere and Hampton streets, Bridgetown. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2012
6846 Conservation plan for the Bridgetown Civic and Community Centre. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2004

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Town, Shire or District Hall
Present Use GOVERNMENTAL Town, Shire or District Hall

Architectural Styles

Style
Federation Free Classical
Late 20th-Century Post Modern

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Face Brick
Wall BRICK Rendered Brick
Wall RENDER Smooth
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Cultural activities
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Sport, recreation & entertainment
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Government & politics

Creation Date

08 Jul 1988

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

15 Jul 2019

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.