While the building of a band rotunda was initially suggested in 1907, it wasn’t until 1913 that the idea came to fruition. In order to build the rotunda a subscription was got up, and in this way £80 was raised. Members of the North West Tourist Society then approached the Devonport Council and asked for a donation of £20 with which to complete the building, specifically the domed roof. The original plans showed a domed roof, but the money raised would only allow an ordinary roof to be erected. Council agreed to pay £20 out of municipal funds, and it was agreed that once built the rotunda would be handed over to the Council.
The rotunda was to be located on Victoria Parade on the western side of the Mersey River. A meeting of the North West Tourist Society in September 1913 discussed a proposal that the rotunda be erected on the State school reserve. Given that both locals and visitors promenaded along the Esplanade, however, this was suggested as a better position. It was reported that a Dr Addison favoured the school site, however, his argument being that if bands played in the rotunda on the Esplanade, the sound going out to sea would cause sharks to come around.
The excavations for the foundation of the rotunda began in September 1913. The contractors were Wilson Brothers and they anticipated the structure would be completed in approximately three weeks. The building, octagonal in shape, measured twenty feet across. The roof was to have four gables. The foundation was to be of cement and raised approximately two and a half feet off the ground. Eight columns with an iron fresco were to be connected by a railing positioned approximately three feet above the base.
The rotunda became a popular place to attend band performances on a Sunday afternoon. In April 1967 it was demolished, Devonport City Council citing the need for too much maintenance.
Bass Strait Maritime Centre History File – Band Rotunda
North West Post, 11th September 1913
North West Post, 28th October 1913
The Advocate, 14th June 1962
The Advocate, 20th April 1967
Devonport Times, Volume 2, No 11 1999, page 12, Faye Gardam The Band Rotunda