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The clock,
And other buildings that accommodated
the Town Hall of Piraeus

The clockThe urban plan that was completed in1832 by the ‘state engineer’ architects Stamatio Kleanthi and Eduardo Saoumpert (appointed by the governor Ioanni Kapodistria and assigned the design of a ‘city plan’). This plan followed the basic principles of Ipodameio’s plan for ancient Piraeus, as this was modified (with detrimental results) by Leo Fon Cense (advisor of the king of Bavaria Loudoviko, Othona’s father) and approved by Royalty on 13 August 1834, through the publication of a relevant decree. Unfortunately, the decree was published in the government's newspaper much later, in 1862, allowing adversities and interventions’ leading to deviation from what it was initially forecasted. In that initial plan the place where later the Municipal Theatre was built was forecasted as a location for the Town Hall while the library building would be build on Korai Square.
The house of the first President of the city Council, the Cretan Emanouil Dectaki was set as a temporary lodging of the Municipality of Piraeus. Later on, the Municipality was accommodated in various buildings owned by Skoufo, P. Omiridi and Papaleonardo, paying rent. The first Town Hall was established on 15 June 1858 on the corner of Lykourgou and Dimosthenous Street.

Then the mayor Loukas Ralis declared:
«The foundation stone of the Town Hall of Piraeus is placed today in honour and glory of the city. It is only fair that Piraeus is proud of such an accomplishment since most important cities of Greece lack a self-owned Town Hall building, today. We therefore, owe great gratitude for these benefits which constitute a result of our concord and a reward of our honest efforts in favour of our city ».

The clockThe Town Hall services were settled there on September 1859. This historical building was demolished when Aristidis Skilitsis was the mayor during dictatorship (1967-1974). On August 1869 the later known as ‘the clock’ building was founded to accommodate a Stock Market. Dimitrios Moutzopoulos, the mayor at that time, placed the city clock on the Tower of this building at his own expense. The engineer of the city, lieutenant Colonel G. Metaxas was assigned the design of the plan for the building, while the construction work was assigned to the contractor Panagiotis Kyprios through an auction. On June 1973, the decoration of the interior space was assigned to the artist Prinopoulos, and the post office was placed in the ground floor of the building. On June 1874, the first floor was rented to the Club (for three hundred drachmas per month). On 9th February 1875 the Stock Market was initiated inside the club, but only operated for a very short time in a rudimentary way, while the Club remained there until 1885. That was the year the Town Hall was set in the Clock.

Dimitris Th. Spiliopoulos writes in his book ‘Piraeus and the mayors of the first one hundred years’ about the event:
«….. a nice morning the mayor Aristidis Skilitsis and the staff of the municipality carried the offices of the municipality, the furniture and the files in the new Municipal Building, in which the Town Hall was set….. ».
When Trifon Moutzopoulos died on 20 July 1906 (he was the last elected mayor of the 19th century and the first of the 20th as well as the only one with a total of seventeen years of service: 1874-1883, 1895-1903), the City Council declared bereavement of the entire Piraeus and his mortal remains were exposed to popular adoration in the Clock.

The Town Hall continued to be accommodated in the Clock until the time of Pavlos Dedidakis (1959-1964), while, as a rule, the City Council sits there until its demolition, in 1968 by the named mayor of the dictatorship. The period of occupation until the beginning of the 1950s was the sole exception because the Clock had been ordained to accommodate mainly Military Services. During this period the Town Hall was set in a building on the currently known Grigoriou Labraki Avenue (then known as Vassilisis Sofias Avenue) opposite the church of Evangelistria. Then it was transferred to the Dilaveris Mansion on the currently known Iroon Politechniou Avenue (where the Piraeus Lawyers Association is set today) until 1953 when the Town Hall returned in the Clock.

The current Town Hall that was initially intended to be an intellectual centre was founded and the work of its construction by the receiving company advanced considerably during the first service of Georgios Kyriakakos (1966-1967).

The building was completed during dictatorship and its appointed mayor Aristidis Skilitsis set the Town Hall in it, in 1969.

Today, the building on Korai Square functions as the central Town Hall while, on the same time other buildings, both neoclassic and not, accommodate the services of the municipality throughout Piraeus.



The text was edited by Persefoni A. Kostea
The historical evidence are taken from the book
by Yannis E. Chatzimanolakis and
the bibliography mentioned in this book.
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