The Town Hall stands at an important crossroads, providing a striking focal point. In its heyday it was the civic centre of East Ham, comprising all important municipal offices, fire and ambulance services, magistrates' court, electricity generation, public baths, tram depot and with a police station and college close by. Newham Town Hall is a Grade 2 listed building. The quality of the detailing, its scale, its railings and trees lift East Ham from the designation of a shopping area to the level of town centre. The following is the List description:
Built 1901-03 by architects Cheers & Smith in the Edwardian Baroque style. It is constructed of red brick and yellow artificial stone with a slate roof and balustrades. The elaborate banded clock-tower stands at the north-west corner. It is mainly of two storeys with a variety of windows, those of the northern façade with segmental pediments above and has relief carving in the tympana. Windows of two lights with interval buttresses. First floor windows round arched, elaborate tracery with small triangular pediments within the glazing. Additional three light windows with mullions and transom to the est elevation. Western façade has rusticated supporting double columns on first floor with pediment and elaborate gabled feature above. Additional windows include two oriels.
Nikolaus Pevsner writes:
Plum-coloured brick and yellow artificial stone. Mixed Tudor and Baroque, also some hints of Loire chateaux. Tall asymmetrical tower. The best thing about the building is that it is recessed from the street and thus given sufficient prominence to act as a town centre. It succeeds in giving East Ham a more urban character than any of the surrounding towns possess. Moreover, the technical college adjoins it immediately to the east and the public library to the south-west, both in the same style. The library is by the Town Engineer, Campbell, 1908.
See also further description and an early photograph under Town Hall, 1900s on this site.
(Text from "Buildings in Newham. A survey of buildings of architectural, historic, and local interest recorded in the Borough in 1973" by Kenneth Lund, Director of Planning & Architecture, published by the London Borough of Newham and containing a full list of acknowledgements of textual sources)