The old town hall

Texte traduit par Sylvie Durand-Valentin avec l’aimable collaboration de Mme Miriam Bastide.

In 1819 the mayor, Jean-Jacques Chalmas, suggested building the first town hall of Saint Priest, but it was not until 1842 that the project actually materialized. It would be inaugurated in 1852 and transformed in1909. It would be used until 1975 until it was replaced by the town hall of Boulevard E. Herriot. Under the Ancien Régime, and even after the Revolution, the plenary meetings of the inhabitants were held in the church, which was the only communal building in the town big enough to accommodate the public. The meetings of the General Council (the precursor of the town council) were held in the presbytery.

The revolutionaries of the time insisted that the management of the schools and towns should no longer be a matter for the clergy and the royalists, and the first town halls were built in year VIII of the French Republic (1799-1800). At that time public services and often the school were grouped together in the same building. This was the case in Saint Priest where the classes occupied the entire ground floor. It was not until 1905, when the village school was built, that the pupils vacated the premises of the town hall, hence the transformation of 1909. A preschool class remained there until 1939. In 1972 the building would house the town’s first music school, and in 1979, the town library. From 1987 onwards, further to the relocation of this library to the new media centre in the town centre, the music school developed. It was renamed Conservatoire de Musique and now occupies the entire building.