The Town Hall was built from local Sydney sandstone in the grand Victorian Second Empire style, inspired by the French Second Empire Hotel de Ville in Paris. The Town Hall has been described as having "lavishly ornamented composition with focal tower and fanciful roofs". The building consists of the original Town Hall, mayoral suites and town clerk's offices. These were designed by J. H. Wilson in 1866, having won a civic competition to design a town hall for the rapidly-growing city. Construction of his initial designs were completed under the architectural direction of Albert Bond in 1869. Wilson also designed the interior of the original Town Hall meeting room. The clock tower was completed in 1873 to the design of E. and T. Bradbridge and whose clock was installed in 1884. The Centennial Hall and associated offices and entrances were designed by Thomas H. Sapsford in 1883, but after his death were completed by architects David McBeath, John Hennessy and George McRae in 1889.