The Constitutional Assembly was inaugurated on August 18, 1906. The National Consultative Assembly was holding its first sessions at the Military College of Tehran until legislators signed a letter on October 16, 1906 to the then Prime Minister demanding that the Baharestan Palace be allotted for the Assembly building.
Built by Mirza Hossein Khan Moshir ad-Dowleh, the Baharestan Palace had gained fame in Tehran. The palace was seized by government after Moshir ad-Dowleh died. The lawmakers had requested the government to let them hold their sessions at the Baharestan Palace. (Dowlatabadi, 1949: 28, 38)
As far as the builder is concerned, views are split. Some sources cite Momtahen ad-Dowleh as the chief architect and some others cite a French architect, Fabius Boital, which some sources have identified as a Belgian. (Mostofi, 1992: 852)
Nonetheless, most sources attribute the façade of the building to the French architect and the main building to Momtahen ad-Dowleh, the first Iranian graduate of architecture in France. (Vahidnia, 1971: 974)
The Baharestan building was initially limited to a few rooms and a hall. Extension buildings were later added. The houses located north, east, and west of the building were purchased and attached to the Baharestan Garden. (Ibid)
The library in the Assembly was built thanks to efforts by Kay Khosrow Shahrokh, who represented Zoroastrians in the second Assembly. He had initially built a small library in the eastern section of the older Howz Khaneh (a pond house used as a summer chamber). When the 4th Assembly was in power the buildings located east of the Baharestan Palace were also purchased to house what is today known as the Library of Iranology and the Library of Women Studies.
The main library of the Assembly (Library No. 1) was inaugurated on February 6, 1963. It remained shut down for six months following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In 1983, the library of the former Senate was named Library No. 2 as an affiliate of Library No. 1. Plenty of documents are being held in these libraries, serving as reference for researchers.
The building of the National Consultative Assembly may be studied in five periods:
Period 1: From the construction of the building until the issuance of Constitutional Command in 1906. During this period, only the façade was added to the building, designed by the French architect.
Period 2: From start of Constitutionalism up to 1924 until arson: During this period, a new building was designed by the famous architect Jaafar Khan.
Period 3: From arson to end of Pahlavi I: The building totally changed after modifications, the most significant of which was the replacement of the façade. On March 25, 1934, the façade of the Baharestan garden was replaced and its current façade was installed. The northern section was built in in 1936.
Period 4: From Pahlavi II to Islamic Revolution: The most important point with this period was the construction of a new building north of the older building. After Abdollah Riazi was elected speaker of parliament in 1965, a new period of construction, destruction, restoration, and attachment started.
Period 5: After Islamic Revolution: After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Constitutional-era building remained mothballed for some time. In March 1988, Iraqi warplanes fired a missile which struck in the vicinity of the Assembly, causing destruction at the ceiling of the entrance due to the missile impact. On December 6, 1994, an arson broke out in the building, inflicting serious damage. In 1995, a group of engineers made restoration work, creating spaces for an exhibition, welcoming visitors as well as official guests, and holding gatherings. (Anvari, 2014: 12-13)
Dowlatabadi, Haj Mirza Yahya, Tarikh-e Moaser (Hayat Yahya) [Contemporary History], Tehran, Ed. Asar-e Javidan, Eqbal & Partners, 1949, pp. 28, 38
Motamedi, Mohsen, Joghrafiyay-e Tarikhi-ye Tehran (Historical Geography of Tehran), Ed. Nashr-e Daneshgahi, Tehran, 2002, p. 456
Mostofi Abdollah, Sharh-e Zendegani-e Man (My Life), Vol, 1, Tehran, Ed. Zovar, 3rd edition, 1992, p. 258
Vahidnia, Seyfollah, »Adl-e Mozaffar« (Mozaffar Justice), Vahid Magazine, Vol. 9, Issue 3, 1971, p. 479
Anvari, Amir Houshang; Ahmadi, Zahra, »Joghrafiyay-e Siasi-ye Meydan-e Baharestan va Piramoun-e An (Political Geography of Baharestan Square and Its Surroundings)«, Baharestan Documents, Issue 4, Fall and Winter 2014, pp. 12-13