The Colonial Building was the seat of the Newfoundland government and the House of Assembly from January 28, 1850 to July 28, 1959 and in 1974 declared a Provincial Historic Site.
In 1832 when Newfoundland governed itself by representative government there was not a formal building set aside to house the legislature. The first home of the Legislature was a tavern and lodging house owned and operated by a Mrs. Travers. The stay was short lived as in the legislature haste and inexperience it forgot to vote approval for the funds to pay rent. For the next seventeen years they would meet in various temporary quarters. In 1846 an act was passed authorizing the construction of a Colonial Building as a permanent home.
On May 24, 1847 the cornerstone was laid by the Governor, Major-General Sir John Gaspar LeMarchant. The official opening of the Colonial Building took place on January 28, 1850 by Governor Lemarchant for the second session of the House's fourth general assembly. (photo: circa 1925)