Image: Barnet Wing c.1880s
Barnet Wing of the Australian Museum on College Street, c.1880s. Photo from the Australian Museum Archives.
- J. Fields
- © Australian Museum
1861-1866: James Barnet Wing
Alexander Dawson, Colonial Architect, prepared a plan for major additions to the Australian Museum only four months after the building's opening. His conception of a long neo-classical façade to William Street was developed by James Barnet, his clerk of works. In 1861 the Trustees adopted this design.
'Barnet had developed Dawson's design into a grand neo-classical composition with the main entrance behind a columned portico approached by an impressive flight of steps, a tympanum carved in relief, the pediment backed by a dome.' [Proudfoot 16]
The main part of the building was not built. Only the College Street section was constructed, which was intended to be a noble side entrance to a domed palace housing museum, art gallery and library. The stone carving was done by Walter McGill, a local sculptor.
The Barnet wing was opened to the public in January 1868.