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Eastern facade 60th anniversary

22 March 2024
Eastern facade of Parliament House

The Parliament of Western of Australia is an iconic, heritage listed building and 60 years ago on 22 March 1964, the eastern extension to Parliament House was opened by the Governor, Major-General Sir Douglas Kendrew, equipping Parliament with a long-awaited ‘front door’.

The Stripped Classicism styled Eastern fašade is a striking contrast to the original Federation Academic Classical Western fašade on Harvest Terrace completed 120 years ago in July 1904. Designed by government architect, Edward Van Mews, 1,500 tonnes of Donnybrook sandstone was used in the eastern extension completed by the Public Works Department.

Sixty years is a considerable time to wait for the ‘people’s house’ to be completed but progress was impeded due to economic restraints and two world wars. The long-awaited city facing extension provided more room to accommodate the growing numbers of staff including women members who had minimal facilities. Hansard staff had also been housed in a temporary building which didn’t insulate effectively in the summer and winter temperatures.

One significant catalyst to for the addition of the Eastern fašade was the controversy around the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to WA Parliament in 1954. The late Queen was led through the ‘trademan’s entrance’ in lieu of an official front entrance. The 1960s extension were a scaled down version of the elaborate original early 1900s plan for completion of the building. Since 1964, further extensions have been made to the northern and southern wing of Parliament to accommodate ever growing needs.

Step back in time to the opening ceremony:

Tour our iconic Parliament during the City of Perth's Boorloo Heritage Festival: