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Entrance and Staircase

Staircase

The formal entrance to Parliament House is located via the Porte Cochere, in the centre of the building’s ground floor. This leads inside to an impressive lobby area and then the grand staircase. (Please note that while this was the original main entrance to Parliament House, today all visitors and guests are required to enter the precinct through the Parliamentary Annexe Building.)

 

The lobby floor is made from original Minton tiles imported from England and imitation marble. Some other features of the formal entrance area include: highly decorative plasterwork; leadlight glass windows; wrought iron banisters; hand carved wooden details; and polished parquetry floor around the base of the grand staircase. 

 

Staircase

 

This staircase leads from the ground floor entrance to the Legislative Assembly Chamber and the Members' Reading Room on the first floor, and then to the visitors' galleries and the O'Donovan Library on the second floor. 

  

 Staircase

 

Four small stained glass windows adorn the two lower levels of the staircase. The two ground floor windows feature text from The Bible, Psalm 127-1, stating:

 

Except the Lord build the house, they labour but in vain that build it.

Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

 

This text was chosen by Mrs Elizabeth Emily O’Connell (nee le Geyt), who was the wife of Sir Maurice Charles O’Connell, the second President of the Legislative Council. 

 

 Staircase

 

 

The windows on the first landing of the staircase are of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910) and his Danish wife, the Princess of Wales, Alexandra. 

 

 Staircase

 

These decorative glass windows were imported by Messrs. W. & B. Brookes (importers and ironmongers, Elizabeth St.) in 1867, and were made by Messrs. Chance of Birmingham, England.

 

Above the top of the staircase is a large stained glass window depicting Queen Victoria (1837-1901) sitting on her throne with the tower of Westminster in the distance. This impressive window is on the internal wall facing the entrance to the Members' Reading Room. Tracings and measurements were sent to England for its creation with the order of this leadlight window stating:

 

One stained or painted window of Queen Victoria, Renaissance Style, size of glass 164 3/16 inches by 60 12/16 inches, circular headed - price not to exceed 10/6 per foot. 

 

 

Foyer Staircase Stained window