Parliament House, Brisbane
Parliament House in Brisbane.
|Architectural style||French Renaissance Revival|
|Location||Gardens Point, Brisbane|
|Address||Cnr George Street and Alice Street, Brisbane City, Queensland|
|Design and construction|
Parliament House in Brisbane is the meeting place of the Parliament of Queensland, housing the Legislative Assembly. It is located on the corner of George Street and Alice Street, and is bordered by the Queensland University of Technology and the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens.
The Parliament of Queensland first met on 22 May 1860 in the former convict barracks on Queen Street. The building was not considered a suitable meeting place for Parliament in the long-term, but plans for a new facility were not made until the completion of Government House. In November 1863 a commission chose the site for the new parliamentary building on the corner of Alice and George Street. The commission soon opened an Australia-wide competition for the new building's design, and offered a 200 guinea prize for the winning submission. A design by Benjamin Backhouse was selected, but was later rejected after it was estimated that it would require £38,000 to construct, exceeding the maximum cost of £20,000 specified in the competition. Plans by Charles Tiffin were finally selected. Amid controversy and allegations of undue influence on the outcome of the competition, Tiffin donated his prize money for the design to the Ipswich Grammar School.
On 14 July 1865 the foundation stone for the building was laid by Sir George Bowen. It was built by Joshua Jeays who used sandstone from his own quarries. Stained glass windows depicting royalty were imported from Birmingham. The first section was completed in 1867. The George Street frontage was completed in 1868 in French Renaissance Revival style, with some Second Empire-style elements. The archways and colonnades facing George Street were built in 1878, and construction on the Alice Street frontage commenced in 1887. The Alice Street wing was completed in 1889.
In 1886, the building was connected to the Government Printing Office via an underground cable. This provided the building with an electrical supply, the first for any Parliament House in Australia.
A 22-storey Parliamentary Annexe building was completed in 1979, built within the grounds of the old Parliament House.
Art exhibitions and other displays are frequently staged in the spacious ground floor areas of the Annexe.
Free public guided tours of the Parliament are available each week day. Also, a gift shop, selling souvenirs and memorabilia, is located in the main foyer.
- "Parliament House (entry 14844)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council.
- "First Parliament House". Government of Queensland. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "New Parliament House". Government of Queensland. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- Gregory, Helen; Dianne Mclay (2010). Building Brisbane's History: Structure, Sculptures, Stories and Secrets. Warriewood, New South Wales: Woodslane Press. pp. 18—20. ISBN 9781921606199.
- Dunn, Col (1985). The History of Electricity in Queensland. Bundaberg: Col Dunn. p. 21. ISBN 0-9589229-0-X.
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