The Auckland Choral Society was set up by Joseph Brown in 1855. It attracted a wide range of amateur singers and proved very popular. This is the second of three choral halls the society built in Auckland's Symonds Street. The first was erected in 1868, but burnt down in January 1871. This one was then built of wood in a neoclassical, temple style. It opened in August 1871. Its acoustics were described as perfect and it featured a huge drop scene of North Shore and Rangitoto. Within months of its opening an arsonist burnt it down too. The third hall was built in a similar style but from brick. It largely survives as part of the University of Auckland.
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