THE Civic Hall was originally to be built next to the Ballarat Town Hall.
A recent town hall clean-up has brought to light previously unseen and detailed plans to build the new civic centre in Armstrong Street South, where the current Gordon and Phoenix buildings are.
It would have been connected to the town hall, eliminating Bath Lane.
In 1947, Ballarat City Council engaged two Melbourne architectural companies to investigate building a new civic hall next to the town hall.
The architects, A.C Leith & Bartlett, and Cowper, Murphy & Associates, designed a modern glass and brick structure which could be accessed via the town hall as well as Armstrong Street South.
It would have included an auditorium, a supper room, a foyer lounge, a smoke lounge and an engineers suite.
Plans were developed but problems in getting firm estimates for the work, because it was so soon after the end of World War II, prevented the idea going any further.
In 1950, the council decided on the current Civic Hall site, the Haymarket Reserve bordered by Mair, Doveton, Market and Armstrong streets.
The site was originally the Ballarat saleyards and was restricted for “market purposes”.
It required several rezonings for the site to become the Civic Hall.
Original buildings on the site included the council’s storeyard, office buildings, a service station and two weighbridges.