Victoria Parliament House

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Victoria Parliament House

 

The Parliament House is located along Spring Street in East Melbourne. It sits on the fringes of the

city center, and it has functioned as the seat of the Parliament of Victoria since 1855. However, from 1901-1927, it served as the seat of the Parliament of Australia.

The Parliament House is among the best examples of civic architecture from the British Empire era.

It is also the largest 19th century structure in the country that continues to function as a public building.
Governor Charles La Trobe instructed Robert Hoddle, who was the colonial surveyor, to choose a site for the meeting of the colony’s new parliament. This happened in 1851, before full parliamentary

self-government was acquired by the colony of Victoria. Hoddle chose a spot atop Bourke Street on the eastern hill in order to command a view of the entire city.


A competition for the design of the Parliament House was held, and it was won by John Knight.

His design, however, was not used. Charles Pasley, then government architect, drew up his own

design, which greatly resembled the Leeds Town Hall. Later, Pasley’s design was modified by John Knight’s partner, Peter Kerr.


Construction began in December 1855. The chambers for the Victorian Legislative Council and the Victorian Legislative Assembly were completed in 1856. In 1860, the library saw completion, and in

1879, the vestibule and the Great Hall were completed.

 
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