This free public forum will demonstrate how old buildings have renovated or adapted to create vital community hubs. It is also an opportunity to find out what is happening at Ballarat’s endangered Civic Hall.
Organised by Save Civic Hall, the forum takes place in one of Ballarat’s most beautifuly restored buildings, the Mechanics Institute on Sturt Street. Phil Roberts will speak about how members achieved its restoration. Jeremy Gaden, Director of The Substation, Newport, will show how an industrial building that was derelict for 30 years was transformed into one of Melbourne’s most lively hubs. Ammon Beyerle will speak about community architectural design processes and show previous proposals for the Civic Hall.
Save Civic Hall is a grass roots organisation which is working hard to prevent the City of Ballarat from demolishing the Civic Hall. This is the largest hall in the region, seating 1500 in its main hall and an additional 400 in the Lower Hall. Built in the early 1950s with funds raised by the community, it is a good example of Art Deco / Modernism.
Closed by Council in 2002, there is now no large, flat-floored venue for rock concerts, trade shows, balls, speech nights etc. The community has continuously asked for it to be reopened and there are signs that it may just happen, if we are really lucky — and keep the pressure up!
A new (to me) source of information about this and other local as well as Australia-wide events is found at Weekend Notes.