Tonight, 30 November 2017, will be the final curtain call for performances in the City Hall auditorium for the time-being. This iconic grand old dame is in the midst of a major makeover and will not be available from December 2017 until July 2018. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town is in the process of a major upgrade of the City Hall and surrounding area to increase its attraction as an events venue. The revamp of the facility started a few months ago and repainting of the main entrance hall, refurbishment of the slate roof, and repairs to the organ have already been completed.
The contractor is now ready to commence with an extensive revamp of the auditorium which will include the following:
· Replacing the existing seating
· Restoring the floor
· Repairing the stage and backstage area
· Restoring all of the mouldings
· Painting the auditorium
· Installing mechanical ventilation
· Installing a public address system
Standing proud and tall 111 years on, the grand old dame’s nip here and tuck there has helped to enhance the aesthetic appeal of this icon both internally and externally. Exciting plans are afoot to position the surrounding precinct and the City Hall as an ideal musical events venue, in addition to being the home of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and Cape Choirs.To mark this historic closure, the City hosted a free concert on 24 November 2017 featuring the talents of the City’s own choir (pictured above). Members of the audience were treated to an organ recital followed by a mixture of sacred and non-sacred musical renditions, the national anthem and a few Christmas carols.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Assets and Facilities Management, Councillor Stuart Diamond, thanked everyone for their enthusiastic performance.
‘We plan to reinstate a monthly free concert once we reopen the revamped venue where we will be able to showcase the City’s talents accompanied by the magnificent organ – a key feature of the City Hall.
‘City Hall is one of our oldest and most central public spaces, with a rich history that resonates with Capetonians as well as visitors to our city. As a key strategic asset of the City, its upkeep and maintenance has to be done with the utmost care to preserve the integrity of this heritage building and the equipment within. The refurbishment will enhance the aesthetics of the building that lies within the historical and cultural heart of Cape Town. This is in line with the priorities of the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan which seeks to optimise our natural and strategic assets.
‘The only way the work can be done is to close down the venue to allow the restorers to undertake the work uninterrupted and with the utmost care,’ Councillor Diamond.
The upgrades will span the next three financial years and the work will cost in the region of R27 million which will be spread across this period.
‘We are certain that with the current revamp and the future plans for City Hall’s sustainability, this grand old dame will continue to stand tall and proud against the backdrop of the majestic Table Mountain. Additionally, the proposals to honour Madiba’s legacy with permanent installations here will add to the City Hall’s appeal as an attraction for locals and visitors,’ added Councillor Diamond.
The City’s Property Management Department would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and thanks all clients and potential clients for their patience while work is under way.