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Alice Street Wing

Alice Street Wing

The western wing, along Alice Street, was added in 1891, but the other sides of Tiffin's original design were never built despite initial intentions to do so.  The most obvious reason the building remained incomplete was financially based.  The George Street wing's construction costs outstripped expectations rapidly in a period of financial uncertainty.  In addition, some Members were never fully supportive of a design where parliamentary and public offices were combined.  The chief argument against the design was that Members of the public conducting business in the public offices would intrude on the peace and quiet Members needed to conduct their business.  The geographical location of the proposed public offices was also questioned, as it was thought they should be closer to the central city area.  Another factor may have been based on the concern that was frequently raised at the time that Brisbane was being developed at the expense of the remainder of the Colony.  Regardless of the reasons, today the Queensland's Parliament includes only two of the four wings Tiffin originally envisaged, although subsequent development of the parliamentary precinct was sympathetic to the original plans.

The Alice Street wing is also three stories and joins seamlessly to the George Street wing.  Little information exists on the reason behind the decision to build the Alice Street wing.  Fierce inter-colony rivalry and pride in the colony's prosperity which existed at this time could have been behind the decision.  However, it seems likely additional space was required to provide office accommodation for the increasing number of Members and parliamentary staff.  By 1890, Queensland had 72 Members in the Legislative Assembly, up from the 26 initially elected.  Members requiring seating in the Legislative Council had similarly increased to more than 30.  Regardless of the reason, it was a welcome addition, built in sympathy with Tiffin's original design.

Unfortunately, brown Moggill sandstone of inferior quality was used in the construction of this wing and it deteriorated rapidly.  Only seven years after its completion in 1891, the entire Alice Street arcading was taken down.  The foundation stone was strengthened and the arcade rebuilt in Murphy's Creek white sandstone with a base of Helidon brown sandstone.  This wing is reported to have cost £36,733.  Apart from offices, t he Alice Street wing also includes a formal dining room, the Strangers' Dining Room, and a bar, the Lucinda Room, on its first level.

This wing now houses many parliamentary officers including the Clerk, Table Office and Hansard staff.  Ministers have offices in either the George or Alice Street wings. The Premier's office is also located in the Alice Street wing.