Fitzroy and Fitzroy Town Hall

 Serendipity Photography’s favourite Melbourne wedding locations: Fitzroy Town Hall

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Fitzroy Town Hall is one of Serendipity Photography’s favourite Melbourne wedding photography locations. Clients are treated to a generous double colonnaded frontage with two grand Corinthian porticos in temple form, beautiful doors, flights of stairs, many nooks and crannies and balconies worthy of Romeo and Juliet and a rustic side frontage featuring abundant wrought iron lace fences.

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Fitzroy Town Hall is a truly versatile location for couples wanting a variety of classic looks. At Serendipity we truly love the ornate doors, and enjoy the mix of the large masses and sense of scale, and the small details that make such beautiful backgrounds for romantic wedding photography.

 

Located on the corner of Napier and Moor Streets, the Fitzroy Town Hall comes with a bonus of truly ample parking and is adjacent to associated sites such as colourful Victorian terraces, Napier Hotel and the Atherton Gardens. It is an ideal location for those couples wishing to show off their choice of wedding cars; the central section is overlooked on both sides by broad topped walls, where a photographer can shoot down onto an open topped car for instance, or gain a high perspective on a romantic clinch with the car in an upper diagonal position in the frame.

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Alternatively the couple can walk and the photographer shoot upwards, the veil thrown out against dark columns, or perhaps the groom can venture towards the ornate lamp at the far end of the wall.

 

Fitzroy Town Hall — Historical Notes

As befitted an important public landmark in the rapidly burgeoning township of Fitzroy, the Fitzroy Town Hall was built in in a grand Academic Classic architectural style. Fitzroy was proclaimed a municipality in 1858, a borough in 1863, a Town in 1870 and a City in 1878! Fitzroy was Melbourne’s first planned suburb: originally imaginatively named Newtown, Fitzroy was formed when lots between Melbourne and Alexandra Parade were subdivided and and offered from 1839, and was named after Sir Charles FitzRoy, Governor of New South Wales from 1846–55. In the 1860’s-80’s Fitzroy came to be full of workers housing; the area was surrounded by factories, and the area is full of a mixed scale and styles of buildings reflecting its eclectic origins. Charitable organisations sprang up to service the needs of the poor, and then, from our perspective, Fitzroy has barely survived the advent of the Housing Commission estates in the 1960’s. Now the suburb, subject to waves of immigration and gentrification is an exciting mix of cafes and cultures, prominently Vietnamese, African, Hispanic and other bohemian types. We still have fond memories of Nuclear Alaskas at the Black Cat, and still drink the odd coffee at Mario’s. For some people, Brunswick St was Melbourne.. that would be a good subject for debate!!..

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The Fitzroy Town Hall construction was in two stages; the first part, hall and tower, in 1873 by Nation Company to a design by W.L. Ellis, the second in 1887–90, designed by G. Johnson extended the hall and added offices, library, court house and police station.  George Johnson was one of the most important and prolific designer of municiapal buildings in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The building with finished off with a more elaborate centrally located tower, again the the free classical style. The Fitzroy Town Hall is classified by the National Trust, listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and is protected by Victorian State Law.

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The Fitzroy Town Hall, featuring a large number of prominent foundation stones and beautiful interiors represented the growing aspirations and wealth in the lead up to the eighties boom, and also the rivalries between the various local governments, giving rise to the construction of a large number of town halls of architectural distinction within inner Melbourne. At Serendipity Photography we are intrigued that so many of these Town halls are designed by the same architect, George Johnson! In 2007 the Fitzroy Town Hall was restored after the Richmond, Fitzroy and Collingwood Councils were algamated to for the City of Yarra, and the building became temporarily vacant.

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