The forlorn fate of Balmain Town Hall’s long-lost cupola – a tale of
the harsh economic realities of the Great Depression.
Few know that Balmain Town Hall was once topped by a handsome cupola.
It elevated the building to nearly twice its current height and, as part
of a troika that included the Post Office clock tower and Court House
dome, was a prominent element of Balmain’s civic skyline.
Even amongst the cognoscenti, local lore maintains that the cupola was
dismantled during World War II as a war-time safety measure. This
article debunks that as an urban myth, an intriguing example of social
amnesia, and reveals the cupola’s forlorn fate.
Balmain Association member Mark Calabretta’s detail research reveals the true story.