Penang City Hall, George Town (2)

Penang City Hall is situated in front of The Esplanade in the heart of George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Penang City Hall, a landmark colonial building in the heart of George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site, serves as the seat of the Penang Island City Council. It was formerly the seat of the George Town City Council.

Completed in 1906, the Edwardian Baroque style building presents a strong echo of British colonial rule and is one of the must-see attractions in George Town.


Penang City Hall, George Town, Penang

The City Hall is also located opposite the Cenotaph that commemorates fallen Allied World War 1 soldiers.

The land where the City Hall now stands was previously occupied by a large residence owned by a merchant, Thomas Halyburton. He then leased the house to the British East India Company to accommodate visiting navy captains. In 1815, it was utilised as the Government Secretary's office. The residence was later known as the Essex Lodge.

Construction of the City Hall commenced in 1903 at a cost of $100,000 (Straits dollars). The building was designed in the Edwardian Baroque style, which was the trend at the time.

Padang Esplanade, George Town, Penang

The City Hall (right) and the Town Hall (left), as seen from the Padang at The Esplanade.

It was commissioned to relieve the demand for office space at the adjacent Town Hall. Upon its completion in 1906, the George Town Municipal Council quietly moved from the Town Hall into the new City Hall. The new building was originally called the Municipal Building, while the Town Hall took on a more social function.

The City Hall was among the first buildings in George Town to be completely fitted with electric lights and fans by the well-known Huttenbach brothers, August and Ludwig.

The Municipal Building was renamed City Hall when George Town was granted city status in 1957. Even after the formation of the Penang Island Municipal Council in 1976, the building continued to be known as the City Hall.

In 1982, the City Hall was listed as a national monument. The building underwent renovations in 2004, during which the original arcades and loggias on the ground floor were enclosed with windows.

Since 2015, the City Hall once again serves as the headquarters of the Penang Island City Council.

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.26 Padang Kota State Assemblyman : Chow Kon Yeow (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)


  1. Hockton, K., Howard Tan, 2012. Penang : An Inside Guide to Its Historic Homes, Buildings, Monuments and Parks. MPH Group, Kuala Lumpur.
  2. Langdon, M. A Guide to George Town's Historic Commercial and Civic Precints. Penang : George Town World Heritage Incorporated.