Council Chambers content
Two large paintings the 'Makars of Dundee' are by local artist, Gregory Lange and depict notable personalities in the history of Dundee and the principal industries of jute, flax, shipbuilding and whaling. The tempera on canvas painting 'Glamis' is also the work of a local artist J. Torrington Bell and to the side of the entrance hall is an 18th century seat which was used in the old Burgh Court.
The stained glass window was designed by Alex Russell and depicts the City Coat of Arms. At the top is the City Cenotaph on the Law and St. Mary's Tower while beneath is the old Town House. Lower down the stairs are two plaques in memory of those who fell in in the First and Second World Wars. The four flags of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland are grouped around the British Union Flag.
This contains several display cases showing memorabilia of the city and on the walls are hung assorted fine paintings from the City's Art Galleries and Museums collections.
While some of the paintings are permanently held within the City Chambers, many of the prints and pictures are changed on a regular basis depending on display requirements within the City.
The stained glass panels in the doors to the Lord Provost's Suite and to the Councillors Lounge came from the City's twin towns of Würzburg, Germany and Orleans, France.
Six run-on prints from A.C. Lamb's 1895 volume 'Old Dundee' are all self titled and this architectural archive almost bankrupted the family business, Lamb's Temperance Hotel in Reform Street. The Councillors' Lounge originally contained two stained glass windows from the Town House but these are now displayed in the McManus Galleries.
Lord Provost's Reception Room
This room was designed en suite to the Lord Provost's Office, with oak floors (now carpeted) and mahogany wainscotting. The paintings are nineteenth century landscapes from the City Art Galleries and Museum collection. Also of interest is the painting 'Dundee from Tayport' by John Cairns.
Council Chambers Suite
The Chamber itself is an impressive room, restrained and dignified in design. The walls are predominantly walnut with simply moulded plastered panels and ceiling above. Between the walnut wall panels are decorative bronze radiator grilles with designs depicting the story of Dundee. The same designs form the external sculptural panels above the arcade.
The cut glass chandelier in the centre of the Chamber was made from surviving remnants of the 18th century chandeliers originally in the Adam Town House known as " The Pillars". Portraits of former Provosts and Lord Provosts of the City line the walls.
The Members of the Council each have a chair finished in walnut and blue leather upholstery and the Lord Provost's Chair which is dated 1832 is still in exquisite condition. The tooled leather cushion on the back of the seat bearing the then City's Coat of Arms, was made by W A Davidson, Head of Metal work & Sculpture at Dundee College of Art in the 1930's.
Above the balcony door are two carved griffins, clutching the Dundee Coat of Arms in their foreclaws, the griffins being the original banister stops from the grand stairway to the first floor of the Town House. It is interesting to note that the griffins (half lion and half eagle) were later replaced by wyverns (winged dragon like monsters) as Supporters of the City's Arms.
The Ceremonial Drum was presented to Lord Provost McManus when the Black Watch Regiment received the Freedom of the City. At the far end of the Chamber is the public gallery below which is the City's Coat of Arms, modelled in plaster. The gallery is accessed by the south stair off the main corridor. To the sides are two large chairs which were used in the Old Burgh Court by the Baillies, who were councillors appointed to dispense justice. The flags in front of the gallery are the Official Flag of the City of Dundee, the Saltire of Scotland, the Union Flag and the flag of one of the City's twin towns, Würzburg, Germany.
Stained Glass Windows
The stained glass Chamber windows, designed by Alex Russell, Head of Design at Dundee College of Art were, excepting the framework, made in the College.
The first depicts William Wallace and Alexander Scrymgeour directing the siege operation against the Castle of Dundee in 1297.
The second shows King Robert the Bruce granting a Charter to the Burgesses of Dundee in 1327, in the presence of the Bishops of St. Andrews, Glasgow, Moray and Ross, the Abbot of Arbroath, the Earl of Ross, Sir James Douglas and two other Knights.
Mary Queen of Scots is the subject of the fourth window and shows her being presented with the Keys to the burgh by the Provost and Baillies at the West Port in 1561.
Finally, Graham of Claverhouse (Bonnie Dundee) is seen outside Dudhope Castle, raising the Standard on his way to the Battle of Killiecrankie, where he was killed in action in 1689.