The original building was designed by architect RG Oldman in 1921. It housed the local Council Chamber and offices and had a hall which was used for showing silent films. In 1939 architects Kreightmeyer & Rowe significantly altered the building to become a great Art Deco building including a modern cinema.
The Council moved out to new premises in 1966 and the building was used as a Reception Centre. Today the Memorial Hall is managed by the Mosman Park Arts Foundation. Near derelict in the 1990s, it has been restored in all its Art Deco glory and forms the centre of MosArts activities including arts classes, gallery, theatre and the Camelot outdoor cinema.
On end of the building is a semi-circular tower topped with a large fin bearing the name ‘Memorial Hall’. The fin is highlighted by four short horizontal lines on the face of the tower. Below this are three horizontal bands which wrap around the curve of the tower and continue onto the recessed part of the building above the main entrance.
This part of the building has geometric decoration consisting of two rectangular fins with six short bands intersecting across the fins. The bands are semi-circular sitting out from the face of the building. Two horizontal bands lead the eye from the stepped back section of the building to the decoration above the second entrance.
This decoration is similar to the first except there are only four semi-circular bands and there is a flagpole between the fins.
From here a single horizontal band sweeps around the simple curved corner and along the side of the building. A window set high in the wall also curves around the corner.
I like the way the architects have identified the building with the large fin on the semi-circular tower then marked each entrance with a decoration on the roofline and used the horizontal banding to link these elements together.
The kitsch statue of King Carol I
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