State Library dome not the biggest in 1913 after all !

#MythBusted ! The StateLibraryofVictoria #domedreadingroom was not the ‘biggest (#reinforcedconcrete) dome in the world’ in 1913 at all ! Structurally complete late 1912, but so was the #CentennialHallWroclaw, which is 62m wide while ours is only a piddly 34.7m. The Wroclaw dome officially opened in May 1913, ours in Nov 1913, so way ahead. I’m a bit surprised because I thought I’d researched this in the 90s and found ours ahead by a few months. That was when I first learned the Wroclaw dome still existed – we learned about it in architecture school, but only as history, in a city called #Breslau, in a part of Germany that ceased to exist in WW2, we thought, when really it just went behind the Iron Curtain becoming part of Poland and changing name, and contemporary photos just not around. What’s more, the #BritishLibraryReadingRoom, built in the 1850s in cast iron, is also much larger, 42.6m, and prob the dome of the Library of Congress too though I couldn’t find how big. It is of course natural to want to think that your local dome is the biggest, even if it isn’t. But it is nice.

British Library Reading Room, competed 1857.

Library of Congress, Washington DC, completed 1897.

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