The Town Hall was built in the 1880s, on the site of an old cemetery, from local Sydney sandstone in the grand Victorian Second Empire style, and has been described as having lavishly ornamented composition with focal tower and fanciful roofs. It remains the only non-religious city building from the era to retain its original function and interior. The building houses the Sydney City Council Chamber, reception rooms, the Centennial Hall and offices for the Lord Mayor and elected councillors.
The Sydney Town Hall Grand Organ is a large pipe organ built by English firm William Hill & Son in 1890. It is located in the Centennial hall and when it was installed in 1890, Sydney Town Hall’s Grand Organ was the largest in the world and described as the ‘finest organ ever built by an English organ builder’. It remains the world’s largest organ without any electric action components and is of international significance.
The Vestibule opened in 1880 as Sydney’s first town hall before the completion of the Centennial Hall some nineteen years later. High above the elegant interior is a beautiful elliptical dome featuring some of the earliest examples of Australian stained glass and from which is suspended a spectacular crystal chandelier.