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Penang City Hall
The Penang City Hall is the local government headquarters in the city of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. Built by the British, it now serves as the seat of the Penang Island City Council (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Penang) and was previously the seat of the George Town City Council. Completed in 1903, the two-story building combines Edwardian Baroque and Palladian architectural styles, which were popular at the time. It has been listed as a national monument since 1982 under the Antiquities Act 1976.
The history of George Town's municipal accommodations began in 1873 when a proposal to construct the Town Hall was first mooted. The construction of the Town Hall commenced in 1879 and was inaugurated in the following year, making it George Town's first municipal building. The foundation stone was laid by Colonel Anson and the building was officially declared open by the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir Frederick Weld, in 1880.
The Town Hall housed the local government for George Town, the Municipal Commission of George Town and served as a venue for social events for the European elite. However, the Municipal Commission soon deemed the office space within the Town Hall to be insufficient. Hence, plans were drawn up for the construction of another municipal building right next door.
Originally completed in 1903 as the Municipal Offices, the building was erected at a cost of $100,000 Straits dollar to relieve the demand for office space at the adjacent Town Hall. The Municipal Offices held the distinction of being one of the first buildings in Penang to be completely fitted with electric lights and fans. Since the completion of the Municipal Offices, the Town Hall took on a more social function.
The Municipal Offices was renamed the City Hall in 1957 when George Town was declared a city by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Thus, the City Hall served as the seat of the George Town City Council until its eventual merger with the Penang Island Rural District Council to form the Penang Island Municipal Council in 1976. Even after this 1976 consolidation of Penang Island's two local councils, Penangites still referred to the building as the City Hall.
The building was last renovated between 2004 and 2005. Although the City Hall retains much of its original form, the original arcades or loggias on the ground floor have been enclosed with windows.
Today, the City Hall serves as the headquarters of the Penang Island City Council. Both the City Hall and the Town Hall are located at Jalan Padang Kota Lama, overlooking the historic parade ground within the Esplanade (Padang Kota Lama). The buildings are also situated within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Trip Suggestion : 15 minutes
Operating Hours : Penang State Government Office Hour
Admission Fee : Visiting by invitation only
Address : Jalan Padang Kota Lama, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia