The Old City Hall of Ceylon is a British era municipal building. Within the confines of this space, a tourist can almost sense the history of Ceylon unfolding over the ages. Built in 1865 on Main Street, this British era building houses in its ground floor gallery old trucks and municipal equipment. It is interesting to note that these age-worn trucks were originally gifts from Japan. The Old City Hall of Colombo is the headquarters of the Colombo Municipal Council. It is also the office of the Mayor of Colombo and a meeting place for the elected officials of the Municipal Council of Colombo.
The Old City Hall is on Main Street, built very close to Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo. Built originally from 1924 to 1928, this very official building is of great import to the people of Colombo. Built in a neoclassical architectural style, this monument was designed by S.J. Edwards. The Council chambers are located dead center of the entire block on the first floor. Capped by an ornamental dome, it is a sight to behold.
On either side of the Old City Hall is an open courtyard lined by the offices of different departments of the Municipal Council. This is a recurring theme on every floor. The main entrance and stairway hall are located at the center of the front face. There are also two staff entrances on either sides of the Old City Hall. It is held up by six Corinthian columns in the main porch, six on both sides of the front entrance, and another ten columns on either side of the building itself.
Although the premises of the Old City Hall have undergone some serious refurbishments, the essence of the British era building remains unscathed. Easily one of the most well-known structures in all of Colombo, the Old City Hall holds an old map of Colombo from the year 1785, some age-old typewriters and even an old radio. The best thing is that although this building is a frequented tourist spot, and it lies in a very prominent section of Pettah, it is rarely overcrowded, if ever.
The vintage mahogany staircases of the Old City Hall lead up to the old council chambers that contain some fine waxwork pieces. These pieces of artwork set in wax are exquisite replicas of the first council members in the early nineteen hundreds. These pieces of work, although covered in dust, are still a remarkable sight to behold.