State Library of Victoria
304-328 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000.
- Built in 1854-1913.
- Designed by Joseph Reed.
- Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (no 605883).
On 3 July 1854, Sir Charles Hotham laid the foundation stone for the first part of the State Library Building, which comprised an entrance hall and lavish upstairs reading room. Over subsequent years, the buildings were expanded and jointly occupied by the former Museum of Art (from 1861 until 1968) and the Industrial and Technology Museum (from 1870 until 1999) which was the forerunner to the National Museum of Victoria. The State Library is now once again the sole occupant of the site.
The State Library building is an excellent example of the Academic Classical building style. The front of the building features a spectacular portico held up by Corinthian columns, and Corinthian pilasters are a feature of the front façade. The domed reading room was built between 1906-11 and is a major feature of the building.
The entire complex has been restored in recent years, with the Domed Reading Room and former National Museum rooms being re-opened in 2003 after extensive restoration work.