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5 June 1939 Parliament House

 5 June 1939   Parliament House

The first half of Parliament House was opened on the 5 June 1889, but it was to be a further 50 years before the whole building was completed, largely through a centenary gift of £100,000 from Sir Langdon Bonython.

The original plans for the building by Edmund Wright and Lloyd Taylor, who won the competition for a design for the new Parliament House in 1874, showed it as having a large dome in the centre and two smaller towers at each end. From the beginning there were disputes, firstly with the architects who withdrew from the project, then with the contractors who also withdrew, and finally with E.J. Woods, the Government architect.

However, the building went ahead using Kapunda marble and granite from West Island at Victor Harbor rather than the originally recommended imported stone. The west wing was completed in 1889 at a total cost of £165,396 9s 9d.

With the approach of South Australia's centenary in 1936 the completion of the Parliament House seemed to be a fitting enterprise, although it was 1939 before the east wing was opened, again on 5 June. The Palladian style building with its Doric columns is an impressive sight on North Terrace even without its crowning dome.

Susan Marsden, Paul Stark, Patricia Sumerling (eds), Heritage of the City of Adelaide, Corporation of the City of Adelaide, 1990,
pp. 247-250.
Max Lamshed, Adelaide Sketchbook,   Rigby, Adelaide, 1967, p. 20.

Tags: Parliament House extension