Hawthorn Arts Centre


Architect John Beswicke’s spectacular Second-Empire-style town hall was completed in 1889, and opened with a Grand Ball. Built in a Renaissance style it was a two storey brick and stucco building with a 100ft (30.48m) tower. It was home to municipal offices, post office, fire station, police station and courthouse.
Over time the building has evolved with the community, with additions such as the clock tower, balcony, marble stairs, entrance foyer and stunning art-deco chandeliers added to make it one of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings.
In 2013 the town hall was reimagined and redeveloped into the Hawthorn Arts Centre comprising a gallery, performance spaces, Boroondara’s 360 Youth Services, function rooms and artist studios – it is a beautiful example of perfectly blended 19th and 20th century architecture.
Come and see for yourself how this sympathetic and innovative redevelopment has created a stunning venue for the delivery of arts and youth programs for the local community.

What's On

Tours and children’s programming will celebrate the Open House Melbourne weekend, along with two exhibitions in the Town Hall Gallery. Children’s activities include an interactive scavenger hunt specific to the heritage and role which Hawthorn Arts Centre has played throughout the years.
(CANCELLED) Architect talk: Maintaining and Preserving the Hawthorn Arts Centre
Join a discussion with architectural studio Atelier Wagner about their work to maintain and preserve the Hawthorn Arts Centre through a series of projects on the building’s façade, clocktower and many function rooms. Architects David Wagner and Jacqui Wagner will share insights on their work to ensure Hawthorn Arts Centre remains the heart of municipal celebrations for many years to come.
Artist talk: ‘Parallel Visions’ 
Be inspired by Italian design through the community exhibition Parallel Visions. Join an exhibition tour and panel discussion where artists, a designer and a historian featured in the exhibition will discuss the influence of twentieth century Italian designers on contemporary art and design practices. This event will explore cultural, social, and political considerations of the twentieth century, as well as its historical underpinnings and legacy, in relation to the art practice of each panellist. 
Free event, but registration essential. More information and to book.

Children’s activities

Kids can play along on the Hawthorn Arts Centre OHM tour, with an interactive game of ‘I spy’. Spread across the site and woven within the tour itself, kids are invited to engage in a treasure hunt, finding the hidden secrets of the building with visual and audio cues. The whole family can have fun learning on the tour together!

Images: (1) Hawthorn Arts Centre, Main Hall. Photo: City of Boroondara. (2) Hawthorn Arts Centre, Burwood Road. (3) Eastern entrance of Hawthorn Arts Centre. (4) Community Arts Space, Hawthorn Arts Centre. (5) Boroondara Youth, Hawthorn Arts Centre. Photos (2-5): Peter Bennetts

Important Details

Time & Date

Saturday 30 + Sunday 31 July
Tours run 11.15am, 12.45pm, 2.30pm
Running time 60 minutes for up to 25 people
Sign up on the day

(CANCELLED*) Architect talk: Maintaining and Preserving the Hawthorn Arts Centre
*This talk has been cancelled by the event organiser. We apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment caused.

Artist talk: Parallel Visions
Sunday 31 July, 2pm-3.30pm
Free, bookings are essential.

Age Requirements

All Ages


Fully wheelchair accessible
Accessible bathroom
Accessible parking nearby
Audio Descriptions
Social Story


360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn 3122


Presented by Hawthorn Historical Society.


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