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2 .2.

1 PENANG CITY HALL

2.2.1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The Penang city hall (also known as Dewan Bandaraya) was built in 1903 and opened in
1906 after a few decades after the completion of Penang Town Hall. It was built at a cost of
100,000 Straits Dollars and incorporated ironwork from Europe. It was the first buildings
completely fitted with electrical lights and fans in Georgetown. It also was a fine example of
venerable British colonial architecture which still existence in Georgetown, Penang. This
building was housing the city administrative offices.

This heritage building was located on Lot number 69, Section 19, along Jalan Padang
Kota Lama. It is closer to the sea and is the larger structure along the Esplanade. A Cenotaph
located on the Esplanade which near to Penang City Hall. It is a memorial to the victims of
World War 1. (Refer to figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1: Cenotaph, a memorial to the victims of World War 1 at Esplanade


Source: Field Study (2008)
On 29th July 1982, Federal Government was listed this two storey building as national
monument under The Antiquities Act 1976. It was gazetted as national monument (gazetted no.
PU (A) 221) by its well know significant historical and architectural values.

2.1.1.2 ARCHITECTURAL STYLES AND CONCEPTS

It was constructed with typical and impressive British Palladian architectural style
featuring with magnificent Corinthian column and plenty of typical tall windows, a small dome
and arches. The Palladian architecture was strongly emphasis on the symmetry, perspectives
and value of the formal classical temple architecture of the Ancient Greeks and Roman. Besides
that, grace and impressive decorative elements were use in classical orders in the design. The
others important element in the Palladian architecture style was the Palladian window. The
windows consist of central light with a semicircular arch above the window which carried the
impost of entablature of two pilasters on left and right side of the window. This constituted an
impressive architecture and an outstanding value to the building.

The concept of design for old City Hall was constitutes a similarity to the Penang Town
Hall which located at the right sides of City Hall. The similarity of design is use balcony as the
main features overlooking to the Esplanade Padang in George Town. It is painted white and
located at the prominent corner near the sea and looking opposite to Fort Cornwallis at the
Esplanade.
Figure 2.2: The front of Penang City Hall
Source: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/ (2008)

Figure 2.3: Balcony as the main features in the design of Penang City Hall
Source: http://i.pbase.com (2008)

2.1.1.3. BUILDING SIGNIFICANT AND ELEMENT OF IMPORTANT


The Penang City Hall is painted in white with two storey height and has a significant
historical values, architectural values, social cultural and political values.

a) Significant historical values


It was the first buildings completely fitted with electrical lights and fans in George Town.
This statement was contributed to the significant historical values to the Penang City Hall. It was
one of the most outstanding colonial buildings and still can be seen today which present the
colonial history. It can create the Penang’s awareness of its pass legacy.

b) Significant architectural values

It was a fine example of venerable British colonial architecture. It was constructed with
typical British Palladian architectural style featuring with magnificent Corinthian column, plenty
of typical tall windows, a small dome and arches. The concept of design for Penang City Hall
was similarity to the Penang Town Hall which use balcony as the main features overlooking to
the Esplanade Padang in George Town.

This beautiful old building’s architectures was show by the classical structure supported
by white colonnades. The entire column in the building was design with special decorative
cornice which contributes the venerable architecture to the building. (Refer to figure 2.4). The
veranda of the building is arcaded. The architecture design of this building incorporates many
arches and pillars which reflect the influence of the Palladian architecture.

c) Significant political

Significant political and social cultural values can be founded in this building. It was
once of the seat of local government and originally was specially built to house the municipal
offices in the early days. The Penang City Hall is currently houses the Penang Municipal Council
(MPPP) and the two department’s offices, namely the Licensing and Urban Services
Departments. It also use as the venue for Council Chamber’s monthly meetings, various
functions and gatherings.

d) Significant Social and Cultural Values

The building define has social cultural values because it being used as administration
spot for public. Public with different races and even from different country will proceed their
process at this municipal office. It was the place for elegant social and civic events.

Figure 2.4: Column with cornice as decorative elements in the design of the City Hall.
Source: http://i.pbase.com (2008)