Lawson Community Hall Grand Re-Opening
The Mechanics Institute – Lawson Community Hall
Grand Re-Opening – Saturday 22nd July 2017
Located on the Great Western Highway the Hall is a prominent landmark at the entry to Lawson village.
First opened in 1903, The Lawson School of Arts played a significant role in the education, entertainment and social life of Lawson village. The Hall represents an excellent example of a Mechanic’s Institute building that demonstrates a way of life prevalent throughout NSW in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Founded by a local literary group, it was used as the first library in Lawson and since then has seen all types of entertainment, exhibitions of moving pictures, skating activities, replacement of oil lamps with Acetylene Gas lighting and then electricity. It was intended to house the Literary and Debating Society set up in 1896 (using the building of the original Blue Mountain Inn as its meeting place) and the library that was growing rapidly. In 1911 it became the Literary Institute and in the 1960s the Lawson Community Centre. Until the 1960s it was a major social centre for the area.
The current building officially opened in 1903 was constructed from the materials of the 1867 Lawson Railway Station. Later additions to the side and front entrance of the building were made from bricks from Mount Victoria’s old railway station.
It was under threat of demolition, but the local community rallied together and campaigned to save the hall. Architect Simon Hearn designed the new additions to the hall which blend in perfectly with the old building.
The official opening yesterday was attended by Local Member Trish Doyle and many of the community who worked so hard to save and restore the hall.
Attendees enjoyed Jazz and Classical music by local musicians, along with an afternoon tea.