Beechworth Town Hall upgrade
- Project typeUpgrade
- Project value$30,000
- Project scheduleComplete
- Completion Date31 July 2020
About this project
This latest round of works has included an upgrade of the electrical wiring and data cabling, removing the resident possums, improving storage, and repairing damage to the walls.
Why is this project being undertaken?
There was an identified need to re-do the electrical wiring based on safety. Work commenced last year to prevent water getting into the walls and we had to allow time for the walls to dry out before these current repair works could start.
What has been done?
With the electrical work completed, we commenced work on repairing the damaged walls. During the removal of the damaged plaster, we uncovered an area of the original wall surface, which has been retained and now showcased behind glass.
We now believe that up until around 1888, the interior walls were rendered and marked out in block work then in 1888 the present surface was added.
This type of protection of earlier finishes is referred to as a ‘truth window’ and it provides evidence that is readily appreciable to all as to exactly what type of finishes were applied during the earliest periods of use. A similar finish was applied to the Courthouse and like this hall, remnants of the original finish have been retained and can be found in the cupboard under the stairs.
This type of finish is known as ashlar masonry and was intended to replicate stone work. The austere character of this finish would have well suited the function of the hall when it was a court. It can be compared to the more ornate and decorative stencilling that was applied during the periods when the hall had a far more lively and social community use.
What will be the impact of these works?
The Beechworth Town Hall is highly valued by the local community. The acoustics and the ambience of the hall are unique. The use of timber exclusively to provide the decorative features of the interior of the hall is rare and makes it an important heritage asset for the shire.
The work to maintain the features of the hall in a manner that honours the original methods will ensure that this facility continues to be enjoyed by future generations.