Preston City Hall
274 Gower St, Preston 3072.
- Built in 1895 (Stage 1), then extended in 1929 (Stage 2), 1934 (Stage 3) and 1975 (Stage 4).
- Designed by Birtwistle and Scanlan (1893), City of Preston (1929) and A. L. Leith & Associates (1934).
- Not listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.
The Preston City Hall was designed by Birtwhistle & Scanlan in 1893 for the City of Preston and opened in 1895. The original building combined Queen Anne, Elizabethan and French Second Empire influences to produce highly animated and picturesque composition despite the small size of the building.
The freestanding and elaborate War Memorial in the High Street side was commenced in 1921 and was built in a style that largely complemented the main building but with some Federation-style variations.
In 1929, the City of Preston commissioned its own architects to design the second stage public hall and this itself was extended further when A. L. Leith & Associates' third-stage front offices and linking façade completed the composition in 1934.
It was not until 1975 when the final stages were added, which included a doubling of Birtwhistle and Scanlan's original building. The 1975 extension was very careful to preserve the style of the older building and is difficult to discern except for the absence of mansard roofs.
The City of Preston is now the City of Darebin and the building still serves its original purpose as the seat of local government in the area. Preston City Hall is now commonly referred-to as the Darebin Civic Centre.