Officially launched on the 4 November 2015, Mankurri-api Kuu is the first Reconciliation Room in Australia.
Mankurri-api Kuu is a unique space that embraces the spirituality of the land and celebrates the talent of Aboriginal Peoples in a harmonious expression of reconciliation.
The floor is an abstract reference to the extent of Kaurna country and the South Australian coastal plains using a woven vinyl tile mosaic. Two permanent artworks include: a wooden sculpture titled ‘Reconciliation Spirit Tree, created by internationally acclaimed artist Donald ‘Bluey’ Roberts and a bespoke artistic screen titled ‘My Country, Our State’ by artist Paul Herzich that recognises and celebrates the diversity of Aboriginal cultures in South Australia.
The Council Chamber was not part of the original Town Hall construction and instead it was an addition to the building which began in 1882 and opened in 1884. The Council Chamber is used for meetings of Council
and for other formal special occasions including Australian Citizenship ceremonies and receptions for visiting dignitaries.
The chamber contains many original items including the Councillors’ armchairs which are more than 140 years old! Furniture in the room was designed by Edmund Wright and made from red Cedar and Blackwood. The Chandelier is made of French Crystal and was originally gas lit. in 1912 it was changed to electric.
Lady Esther Jacobs Room
In 1956 Lady Esther Lipman Jacobs was elected in City of Adelaide as the State’s first woman Councillor and later in 1969 alderman. She served as the council’s first female elected member for 22 years and later as
Deputy Lord Mayor, as well as acting Lord Mayor.
In 2014, Council voted/passed that the room was to be renamed The Lady Esther Lipman Jacobs room in honour of her. It was previously known as the Lady Mayoress Room.
Queen Adelaide Room
The Queen Adelaide Room is used for receptions and other functions hosted by the City. The room was named in 1953 before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Adelaide in 1954 when she presented a portrait of
Queen Adelaide, which is on permanent loan. The portrait hangs in the room and shows Queen Adelaide aged 57 years.
The Regency display cases contain gold cutlery, a wine glass, a prayer book and one of Queen Adelaide’s diaries (written in German) covering the period 1830 to 1831. Items of clothing and jewellery and other items from the Victorian ear and books from her library are also displayed in cabinets. On the walls are a number of portraits of Queen Adelaide.
The Adelaide Town Hall incorporated four other buildings on the same site: the Prince Alfred Hotel, the Queens Chambers, the Eagle Chambers and the Gladstone Chambers. These four buildings were incorporated into
the fabric of the Town Hall in the 1950’ as their leases expired. The Prince Albert Hotel ceased commercial operation in 1953. The foyer was altered significantly in the 1950s, when a new marble staircase was installed, and the Prince
Albert Hotel became part of the Town Hall.
The Town Hall foyer was originally gas lit. The lights are reproduction bronze “gasoliers’’ made in Adelaide.
Colonel Light Room
The Colonel Light Room serves as the Council’s main committee room.
The room was designed as the Colonel Light Room on May 7, 1956, in memory of the City’s founder. The cabinet on the western wall was specially made to house items relating to Colonel Light, from the City’s Civic Collection. These include maps, plans and instruments used by Colonel Light in the original survey of the City of Adelaide.
Most committee meetings are conducted in this room on Tuesdays, during the afternoon or evening and are open to the public.
Nestled behind the Adelaide Town Hall, the Meeting Hall was built in 1862 as a school room and lecture hall for then neighbouring Methodist Church complex.
It was later used as the 'birth place' for Prince Alfred College and its first students.
The Gothic style hall of Dry Creek stone with brick dressings and slate roof was designed by one of the most prominent South Australian architects of the time, Edmund Wright.
The Office of the Chief Executive Officer is on the Ground Floor and is in the original part of the Town Hall. Featured in the office is a copy of the Duryea panorama. The Duryea Panorama is a series of photographs taken from the tower of the Adelaide Town Hall in 1865. It provides a bird’s eye view of colonial Adelaide. Townsend Duryea was the photographer.
This was created in 2013 as part of an upgrade of the Town Hall that included installation of new carpet in the civic areas. Prior to this the main passageway featured a series of random photos, maps and some portraits of former lord mayors sourced from the Archives and Civic Collections. In 2013 the non-portraits were removed, and the hallway explicitly used as a portait gallery.
The main foyer hosts a program of exhibitions programmed by the City of Adelaide’s Emerging Curator. The Emerging Curator Program engages recent curatorial arts graduates and emerging curatorial practitioners to
further support their professional pathway and applied development. It allows emerging curators to gain vital practical experience by undertaking professional curatorial programming.
The gallery space is open to the public from 8:30am – 5pm weekdays and to patrons prior to events.
The Town Hall Balcony has played host to many famous visitors including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Hilary Clinton and the King and Queen of Thailand. On June 12, 1964 The Beatles brought the City to a standstill with over 300,000 fans outside the Town Hall. To commemorate the famous visit, a photo-realistic glass installation of the Fab 4 sits at the end of the balcony where they greeted crowds. The installation was launched on August 19, 2016 and is open to the public.
Situated behind the Auditorium and completed in 1884 by Edmund Wright, the Banqueting Room showcases exquisite craftmanship of its walls and ceiling and is one of Adelaide’s finest examples of high Victorian architecture. It has been restored to its 1897 glory with ornate plaster roses and a trompe-l’oeil paintwork adds emphasis to this impressive space. The room provides the perfect setting for occasions such as concerts, wedding receptions and banquets.
Town Hall Organ
No sooner had the Town Hall been officially opened than the campaign began to obtain a pipe organ to grace the main chamber. In 1875 Council ordered an organ from London by manufacturers William Hill & Son which
arrived by ship at Port Adelaide in 1877.
Council voted to replace the original century-old pipe organ in 1989. The new Town Hall Organ was built in Brandon, Suffolk, England by J.W. Walker & Sons and was installed in 1990.
The J.W. Walker organ was the largest mechanical-action instrument to have been built in the United Kingdom for 100 years. It has 61 stops distributed over four keyboards and 4,500 handmade pipes.
The auditorium completed in 1866 is truly an awe-inspiring room with stunning architecture and Victorian-style. The first major event to take place in the Auditorium occurred on Friday 22 June 1866 with an Opening
Gala Ball with 800 guests.
Today the 24m long, 18.5m wide and 22m high room is used for concerts, Civic receptions, graduations, public meetings, private functions, weddings and stately cocktail occasions.
It’s renowned as one of the finest acoustic venues in Australia and features flexible staging, in-house sound and lighting, with the capacity to hire the Walker & Sons organ, or its partner, a Steinway Grand Piano.
Prince Alfred Room
The Prince Alfred Room is regularly used for meetings, lunches and dinners with seating up to 45 people.
The room derives its name from the former Prince Alfred Hotel, which previously occupied this part of the building until 1953.
The Southern Gallery is home to an impressive stone once-exterior wall and is a tranquil space for breakaway sessions or private meetings. This space is adjacent to the auditorium.
The Albert Tower which spans the pavement at the front entrance to the Town hall was named in memory of Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert.
The structure is capped by a lantern-dome where the bells hang, and it stands 44 metres high. The foundation stone of the Albert Tower was laid by the then Mayor, Samuel Goode on 13 January 1864.
The tower was the only civic building outside England to house a full peal of eight bells, which are also named in honour of Prince Albert.
The town hall clock was installed in 1935 when Sir J. Lavington Bonython, a former Lord Mayor, donated a clock. The three faces of the clock face north, south, and west.
The Dress Circle originally consisted of only the back section which was known as the upstairs gallery and was part of the Town Hall building dating back to 1866, but the area was extended forwards in 1900 to increase the seating capacity of the main hall. The gallery was originally reached by means of a steep narrow winding staircase, but this was later redesigned and replaced following the death of a patron who fell down it.
The Green Room is a private space where performers can relax during performances or after shows in the auditorium.
It can also be used as a small conference space with seating for up to 40 people.
David Spence Room
The David Spence Room is named after the first Town Clerk. This light and airy room with its outlook over King William Street provides the ideal space for board meetings, training sessions and workshops.