This unique eight-sided building was erected in 1897 on a site donated by William McGlew, a successful businessman in the Glen Forrest (then Smith’s Mill) community. It was very contemporary for its time, and although it was met with mostly favourably appraisals of its design, it also had its protagonists.
52 McGlew Road, Glen Forrest
Tenders for the hall were called for in early 1896, but none was accepted. Consequently, a local committee organised the construction of the hall while long term resident, Henry Eltze-Vicot, developed the extraordinary design to ensure ‘uninterrupted vision’ all round. The cost of the hall was £350 and the bricks came from a local brickyard. Residents named the building ‘Forrest Hall’ in honour of Sir John Forrest.
The hall was used for a variety of purposes including the weekly display of agricultural produce, for dances, and for community meetings.
By the 1950s, the hall no longer met the needs of the community and it was closed in 1959. A new larger hall was opened in March 1960 to cater for an increased population.
Various organisations leased the hall over the years. It is now occupied by the Eastern Hills Branch of the Wildflower Society.
The building was placed on the State Heritage Register in 2001.