Panorama: Parliamentary Library reading room

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Panorama of the Parliamentary Library reading room.

Before the 1907 fire this room served as the Lobby, connecting the original House of Representatives chamber, Legislative Council Chamber and Bellamy's.

Related commentary by John O'Sullivan, former General Manager of the Parliamentary Service

This room is a reconstruction of what was once the main lobby area linking the debating chamber of the House of Representatives with the Legislative Council Chamber in the Parliament Buildings that were destroyed in a major fire in December 1907. The lobby was badly damaged but because it was a masonry structure, not wooden, it survived the fire; however it was converted into offices and storage space. As part of the major refurbishment project of Parliament Buildings in 1992–96 it was decided to reconstruct the original lobby area to replicate, as far as was possible, its original design and décor. The original timber roof trusses had been removed after the 1907 fire but were recreated using some of the timber from the fire damaged building. Most of the kauri wall panelling is original, dating back to 1883 when the lobby was first built. Today the reconstructed lobby houses periodicals and other material, including daily newspapers and it also displays some of the historic artworks from the parliamentary collection.