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Municipal Office & Town Hall, Kuala Lumpur (1904)

Kuala Lumpur's Municipal Office & Town Hall were combined into one building. The Municipal Office was the first official administration offices for Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board. Its large Board Room on the upper floor witnessed important meetings that shaped Kuala Lumpur’s early town planning. The Town Hall was the venue for dances and entertainment for all.


Hubback's Official Post/Role: Federal P.W.D Assistant Architect & Member of the Sanitary Board

Year Designed: 1901 

Tender Opened: 1902

Opening Ceremony for Town Hall: 8 September 1904

Occupation Date for Municipal Hall: 27 October 1904

Contractor: Messrs. William Nicholas

Construction Cost: $100,000 Straits Dollars

Construction of Porch: $6,380 Straits Dollars

Architectural Style: Mughal Eclectic

Brief Architectural Description: An eclectic Mughal-style complex with a unique curved façade and copper dome at main porch.

Opening Ceremony

The Town Hall was declared opened by Resident General of F.M.S, Sir William Treacher on 8th September 1904 at the Town Hall’s first event – a  Grand Farewell Ball to Sir William and Lady Treacher. Special guests included Their Majesties the Sultan of Selangor, Yam Tuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, plus practically everybody that constituted ‘Society’ in the Federated Malay States.

Original Use: Government Administration

Original Building Type: Office & Public Building

Current Name: Panggung Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur

Current Use: Office & Theatre

Current Building Use: Office & Public Assembly

Gazetted as  Malaysia's National Heritage List in 2007

Gazetted Name: Bangunan Dewan Bandaraya, Panggung Bandaraya

Alteration History: A fire incident in 1992 damaged the interior of the theatre/hall. Building has since been restored though its interior renovated extensively.

Coordinates: (to be updated)


Letter to the Acting British Resident of Selangor, 14 November 1901

Original document obtained from Arkib Negara Malaysia (19570099730)

I have the honour to transmit to you the plans of the Town Hall, Municipal buildings, etc., for which provision of $100,00 has been made in the Selangor Estimates, 1902. 

2. The Architectural Assistant's Estimate of the cost of erection of the buildings as per plans is $120,000. In order to bring the cost within the sanctioned provision it will be necessary to omit the proposed accommodation for the Fire Brigade, for which there is no urgency, and the elaborate porch to the Municipal block only.

These can be added in future years if considered advisable and the necessary ground should be reserved for them. 

3. I submitted the plans to His Excellency during my recent visit to Singapore. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, 
Acting Resident General FMS


CPR M7111 Selangor Government Gazette 30 May 1902

Original document obtained from Arkib Negara Malaysia

12. It is resolved that the Government be urged to accelerate as much as possible the building for the new Sanitary Board Offices for which provision of $100,000 has been inserted in the estimates 1902. 


Malay Mail, 2 December 1904

Original document obtained from Arkib Negara Malaysia

Our Municipal Offices and Town Hall.

Our new Municipal Offices and Town Hall form such a notable addition to our public buildings that we feel justified in giving a brief description of them now that they are on the point of being completed.


After the site by the Gombak River bridge had been decided upon, the Government called for tenders in 1902, and in August of that year Mr. Nicholas obtained the contract. He started work almost immediately, but was unfortunate in having to face and abnormally rainy season which culminated in the famous November flood. During this time the earthwork was a maze of canals, while the timber already carted to the spot was only restrained from wending its way seawards by the barricade which had fortunately been erected to provide against such a catastrophe.


When the fine weather came, further troubles followed; materials rose enormously in price, so much so that the contractor started his own brick works rather than pay $130 per 10,000 bricks, which had previously been selling at $80. Another trouble was the outbreak of rinderpest, for the contractor had to place the bullocks which he had purchased at Penang for carting purpose, in quarantine at Port Swettenham for nine weeks.


But after this, matters improved; and no hitch occurred until the fire in June last, when, it will be remembered, nearly all the woodwork for the interior of the building was destroyed.


The time originally fixed for the conclusion of the work was May last, but the contractor obtained two extensions for additional work ordered.


The Town Hall was the first portion finished, the work being pushed on in order that it might be opened on the occasion of the farewell ball given to Sir William and Lady Treacher. The dimensions of the Hall are 80ft.x4ft. and its height is 40ft. On each side of it are verandahs 10ft. in width.


At the far end is a stage 25ft.x45ft. with wings and dressing-rooms, with lavatories attached. The entrance hall measures 4ft.x30ft., including the cloak-rooms, and the upper hall is the same size.


The Municipal offices consist, on the ground floor, of the assessment, Chief Clerk’s Registration, and Weights and Measures rooms, and the Sanitary Inspector’s office, while off the Chief Clerk’s office is a strong room. Passing upstairs by a fine staircase, one finds a large central room which is used as the Board Room. To the left of this are one large room and two smaller ones, while on the right are one large, one medium-sized, and one small room.


The buildings are now practically finished. The Factory has to put the copper on the dome over the central porch, but it is expected that the work will be completed within the next fortnight.


This block of buildings supplies long-felt wants, for not only does it give us a hall in which dances and other entertainment can be held on a scale previously denied to us, but it enables the Sanitary Board to at length take up quarters befitting its important role in our town. In addition to these advantages, the building forms a fitting adjunct to the fine public offices close by and is a decided ornament to the town.


For this we are indebted to Mr. A.B Hubback, the State Architect, who furnished the plan, and Mr. Nicholas, who in carrying the work through to a successful completion in spite of adverse circumstances, has set up yet another monument in our midst which does credit both to himself and to the town of which he is a member.



Annual Report FMS Selangor 1904: Sanitary Board Report

Original document obtained from Arkib Negara Malaysia

The new Municipal Offices in Kuala Lumpur, adjoining to the Town Hall, were occupied by the Sanitary Board Staff on the 27th October. They were reported to be in every way suitable for the purpose for which they were designed.


List of Sources


Malay Mail, 2 December 1904, Our Municipal Offices and Town Hall


Annual Report FMS Selangor 1904 - Sanitary Board Report


CPR M7111 Selangor Government Gazette 30 May 1902


British Colonial Files (Arkib Negara Acc. No)
1957/0109176, Porch. Town Hall and Municipal Offices. Construction by Mr. W. Nicholas. Recommends. 

Measured Drawing


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