Original post 25 July 2020
It’s #OpenHouseMelbourne virtual weekend, lots to scroll through, I found the Governor Dessau’s husband Tony Howard doing a tour of #GoovernmentHouseMelbourne, where he repeats the often told story that the ballroom is bigger than that at #BuckinghamPalace (1856), which displeased Queen Vic, who said make it shorter, but too late it was already under construction. It IS longer – ours is 42×16.7m, hers 36.6×18 – but there’s no evidence she ever said anything.
Designed by #WilliamWardell as head of Public Works, and completed in 1876 the whole place is HUGE, and greatly under utilised I think, but a fine example of the restrained Italianate he was known for. It was originally mostly white, and redecorated in this blue scheme for the arrival of Lord & Lady Hopetoun in 1889, painted over in the 30s, and recreated in the 60s (at the same time as Victoriana was seen as old and tasteless and generally destroyed !).