The Town Hall is Strömstad's most remarkable building. It was built from granite, in magnificent Jugend-style. It was finalised in 1917 and opened in 1919.
In the early part of the 20th century, there was a discussion about whether Strömstad needed a new town hall. A committee was appointed, and after a lot of consideration it was suggested that a new town hall should be built in a central location, at a cost of 140,000 SEK. However, there was no money available. The wholesaler Adolf Fritiof Cavalli-Holmgren then offered to donate the money. The deed of gift was dated the 27 May 1908.
The donor set out very detailed instructions as to how and where the house should be built. In his letter of donation it states that the town hall must be located "on the highest part of the plot which used to belong to my parents, on the northern side of Strömsån, right opposite the large bridge". He also demanded that the house, apart from a court, the borough finance department, the town council and police station, should include: a savings bank, a post office, a "systembolag" (state-owned shop for the sale of alcoholic beverages), a museum, and apartments which would bring in rent to boost the town's finances.
After years of differences in opinion between the donor and the town leadership, the building work began in 1912. The final cost for the building work was around 600,000 SEK. The stone details in the Town Hall bear witness of the great skill of the local stonemasons at that time. The commemorative plaque by the main staircase was put up in 1923.
Adolf Fritiof Cavalli-Holmgren died on the 22 June 1922. At that time, four million SEK remained of his great fortune – along with the same amount in debts.
Magic and symbolic numbers have been used by humans from time immemorial. In the Jewish and Christian faiths, the numbers were given symbolic meaning as a manifestation of the fact that God had arranged everything according to measurements, numbers and weights. The first twelve numbers were often given symbolic meaning based on the Bible. Some masonic organisations also use numerology and symbolic numbers.
The first person to take an interest in the design of this remarkable building – the Town Hall – was the town accountant, Jarl Jonasson. He found that all important events during the construction of the house took place on certain pre-decided dates, and that these numbers were also incorporated in the design of the building. Cavalli-Holmgren had the curious habit that he would only attend meetings and answer letters on certain days. These were the dates of his father's and mother's birthdays, their wedding day and engagement day.
The Town Hall is a memorial to his parents and has been designed around these dates. The numbers included in the dates have come to shape the entire building. As an example, the number of windows and doors on the first floor are thought to make the birth date of his father = 27. The Large Session Hall (Father's Hall) is 7 metres high, 7 metres wide and 13 metres long, when added up this makes 27. Mother's Hall is 7 metres + 7 metres + 5th month = 14 May. And so it goes on. There is probably still a lot to discover.
Today, the entire building is used by the various departments of the Town Council. Guided tours are held in the summer.