Monday, 23 January 2012

Shire of Cranbourne Municipal Buildings

In the last post we looked at the opening of the City of Berwick Civic Centre at Narre Warren so continuing on with the Municipal buildings theme, today we will look at the Shire of Cranbourne Municipal Offices. William Lyall laid the foundation stone of the first Shire of Cranbourne Offices on March 6, 1875. The first Council meeting was held there on September 18, 1875. The suite of buildings consisted of the Shire Hall, Court House and Post Office.

This is the Post Office end of the building. The clock was installed in 1891.

An interior shot of the Shire Hall, maybe taken in the 1920s.

Another view of the buildings, it is actually one of my favourite photographs - hard to believe this is the intersection of Sladen Street and High Street/South Gippsland Highway. If you stood there now, you would probably get run over by a truck. The photograph was taken sometime after June 1939 which was when the War Memorial obelisk was erected. You can see the obelisk in front, right of the building.

The building was extended in 1961/1962 and again in 1970/1971, however this was a building constructed when the Shire of Cranbourne had a population of around 1,000 and by 1976 the Shire population was 25,830 so effectively the Shire was out growing the building. A new building was opened in 1978, which will be the subject of our next post. The 1875 buildings were saved after a spirited campaign by members of the Cranbourne Shire Historical Society, community members and Mr Herb Thomas, publisher of the Pakenham Gazette, and at the time President of the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society.

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