Architectural plans of Parliament House
News of the day

Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 17 January 1865, page 3


[...]The work at the new parliamentary buildings, near to Government House, has been proceeding rapidly. A great deal of the excavation has been done, and some portion of the foundation is already in. A very ingeniously constructed tramway, with hardwood rails, has been constructed for the purpose of conveying the large blocks of stone from the punts at the waterside to the building. There are a great number of men employed, and we may therefore expect the work to go on without any stoppage.


With no other suitable building available, Queensland’s first parliament met in a wing of the 1827 Prisoner’s Barracks in Queen Street on 22 May 1860. Clearly, a building which befitted the dignity of parliament was urgently required. Economic reasons dictated otherwise, and it was not until December 1863 that architects were invited to submit tenders for the design of Queensland’s first Parliament House. An important proviso was that the cost of the building was not to exceed £20,000, and it was the Colonial Architect, Charles Tiffin, whose classic revival design in the French Renaissance style was finally accepted. Work on the foundations commenced in early 1865, with the quarry of Joshua Jeays at Woogaroo (Goodna) providing the sandstone required for the walls of the building. Owing to a severe economic crisis, work was disrupted in mid-1866, the main exception being installation of the zinc roof which had been prefabricated in England. Economic conditions improved in late 1867, at which time tenders were called for completion of the building. John Petrie was awarded the contract.. Although Parliament House was officially opened on 4 August 1868 the building was not completely finished until 1880. By then the total cost had risen to £62,435. While Parliament House has continued to stand the test of time, it was found necessary to carry out major renovation work, including the installation of a sheet copper roof between 1980 and 1982.


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