THE IMPERIAL INSTITUTE.
The Imperial Institute at South Kensington was built with the twofold object of celebrating the Queen's Jubilee and cementing the British Empire. Her Majesty in person both laid the foundation stone of this splendid building in 1887 and declared it open in 1893. f he architect (Mr. T. E. Colcutt) was inspired by Tennyson's words: "Raise a stately memorial, Make it really gorgeous, Some Imperial Institute, Rich in symbol, in ornament, Which may speak to the centuries." In design the Institute is Renaissance, freely treated. The main entrance is particularly fine, and the interior is worthy the exterior. Altogether the buildings occupy two acres. Every Friday the public is admitted free to the exhibitions; and the attractions of the Institute are enhanced by concerts, lectures, etc.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896