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Parliament House, Adelaide
Title : Parliament House, Adelaide Parliament House, Adelaide
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Source : Woods Bagot Architects, BRG 18 item 73
Date of creation : 1888
Format : Architectural drawing
Dimensions : 380x410
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of Woods Bagot Architects. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from Woods Bagot Architects and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Edmund Wright and Melbourne architect Lloyd Tayler won the 1873 competition for the new South Australian Parliament House. However it was not until 1881 that the government decided to commit to the construction of the building. Edward John Woods was employed to alter and improve the design and supervise construction.

Architecturally the building is considered outstanding. Much trouble was taken in selecting building materials from within South Australia to reflect the colony's pride in its own resources. The house is built of marble from Kapunda (just north of the Barossa Valley) for its beauty and durability and sits on a base of granite from West Island near Victor Harbor. Even the plainer, northern face is relieved by an elegant balcony on the first floor.

Parliament House was built in two sections and the only external signs that the western end of the building was constructed fifty years earlier than the rest are the lamps on the staircase and six faces carved in the keystones of the upstairs windows. This first section was completed in 1889 and the faces are those of leading parliamentarians and Governors of that era.

The original design by Wright and Tayler as shown here included an enormous central dome and other external embellishments, but like the carved faces in the windows, these luxuries had to be forgone on the 1930s addition which completed the building as during that 50 year span the State had experienced two depressions and a world war and the State simply did not have the money to pay for such embellishments. To compensate the columns in the portico were increased from six to ten.

It was not until 1936 that the building was completed thanks to a 100,000 pounds donation by Adelaide businessman and philanthropist Sir Langdon Bonython to celebrate the State's centenary.

There has been no external alteration since completion in 1939.

Related names :

Parliament House (Adelaide, S. Aust.)

Wright, Edmund W. (Edmund William), 1824-1888

Tayler, Lloyd 1830-1900, (architect)

Woods, Edward John, 1839-1916

Bonython, John Langdon, Sir, 1848-1939

Coverage year : 1888
Place : North Terrace (Adelaide: S. Aust.)
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :
Heritage of the city of Adelaide: an illustrated guide Adelaide: Corporation of the City of Adelaide, 1990
Danvers Architects Parliament House, Adelaide: conservation study Adelaide: Danvers, 1987
Queale, Michael Adelaide's architecture and art: a walking guide Kent Town, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1996
Fischer, Peter Vintage Adelaide [Adelaide]: Heritage Press, 1989
Morgan, E. J. R Early Adelaide architecture 1836 to 1886 Melbourne, New York: Oxford University Press [1969]
Page, Michael F. Sculptors in space: South Australian architects 1836-1986 [Adelaide, S. Aust.]: Royal Australian Institute of Architects (South Australian Chapter), 1986
Turney, Barbara Adelaide, city of charm [Kent Town, S. Aust.]: Axiom Publishing, 1989
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing. From the ground up August 2004-



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