In the inner lobby is a ‘virtual reception’.
Leading on from the inner lobby is the building’s grand entrance hall, with a splendid staircase and a lift, with glass panels revealing striking astronomical images. In addition to the offices of the Executive Secretary and the reception is the newly installed 100 seater lecture theatre and the Fellows Room. At the foot of the main staircase is a bust of Francis Baily (by a sculptor called Baley!), presented by Baily’s sister after he died in 1837.
The Society moved into its present building in 1874. The premises were specially built by the government for the learned societies which were required to vacate Somerset House. Glass panels in the doorways were glazed with etched panes showing the logos of the various Societies. The ‘AS’ logo can be seen in the front doors and the doors to the Executive Secretary’s office. The Logo is repeated in the cast iron radiator panels in the main hallway, the Fellows Room and in the main library on the first floor.
The stairs at the far end of the hall lead down to cloakrooms and toilets. The facilities may also be accessed by lift. Next
Also of interest: A brief history of the Society