Sydney Town Hall. Photo courtesy of Sydney Town Hall

Sydney Town Hall 2018

Sunday 4 November

483 George Street, Sydney

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John Henry Willson

Additional architects

1873–77 Albert Bond, City Architect

1875–81 David McBeath, City Surveyor

1871–84 John Hennessey, Assistant City Architect

1881–86 Thomas Sapsord, City Architect

1886–89 George McRae, City Architect


1992 Heritage Architecture Award (Conservation) - AIA (NSW)

2001 National Trust Heritage Award for Conservation - Energy Management

Sydney Town Hall has been the seat of the city’s administration and the Lord Mayor’s office for over 120 years. It is also the public stage and meeting point for the people of Sydney and its visitors.

Built on the site of Sydney’s first European cemetery, Sydney Town Hall is a striking blend of French Second Empire architecture, with its mansard roofs and wrought-iron cresting, inspired by neoclassical architecture and the Hôtel de Ville in Paris.

The design is derived from a competition-winning entry by architect John Henry Willson, interpreted and embellished by successive architects and engineers. Willson did not live to see its first stage completed (1880), leaving city architect Albert Bond to be credited with its execution. Despite its name, the main (Centennial) hall wasn’t completed until 1889. Mostly the work of architect George McRae, it features the first large Wunderlich (pressed zinc) ceiling in Sydney and the largest pipe organ in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sydney Town Hall is linked to an office building, Town Hall House, which houses City of Sydney staff. Designed by Ancher Mortlock and Woolley, the building opened in 1977. In sharp contrast to the ornamented Town Hall, this modern concrete office building with its striking repetitive angular geometry has been identified as an important local example of Brutalist architecture. As the last project before his death in 2015, architect Ken Woolley provided advice to company Smart Design Studio, who refurbished the public areas of Town Hall House.

On Sunday 4 November

What’s open?

Ground floor and first floor of Sydney Town Hall.

Levels 2 and 4 of Town Hall House.


Priority access for SLM Members

Members get priority access to this building
Show your special Member wristband to gain priority access during Sydney Open.

to know

  • Photography restricted
    Photography permitted unless otherwise stated.

  • Lines expected

  • Toilets available

  • Pram friendly
    Stroller/pram parking and cloaking is available at the Druitt Street entry (visitors are required to return there at the conclusion of their visit to collect their items).

  • Accessible
    Access via the Druitt Street entry

  • Additional information
    The City of Sydney reserves the right to scan visitors and the bags of all persons who enter or exit the building.

Opening hours

10am – 4pm

Last entry



483 George Street, Sydney

Entry via

Main stairs, 483 George Street, Sydney


Find out more about Sydney Town Hall.