Logged in as user  [Login]  |
ARHP
Return to Search Results Printable Version
 





Key Number: HS 6269
Site Name: Alberta Legislature Building
Other Names:
Site Type: 1302 - Governmental: Legislative or Parliament Building

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
52 24 4


Address: 10801 - 97 Avenue
Number: 1
Street: 108
Avenue: 97
Other:
Town: Edmonton
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style: Beaux Arts
Plan Shape: T
Storeys: Storeys: 3
Foundation:
Superstructure:
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Flat
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Single Detached
Wings: None
Number of Bays - Facade: First or Ground Floor, 9 Bays or more
Wall Design and Detail: Pier or Pilaster
Wall Design and Detail: String or Belt Course
Wall Design and Detail: Plinth
Wall Design and Detail: Entablature
Wall Design and Detail: Plain Parapet
Wall Design and Detail: Carving
Wall Design and Detail: Balcony
Plain Eaves
Roof Trim Material - Verges: Stone
Dormer Type: None
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Offset Left
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Side Left
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Side Right
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Front
Chimney Stack Material: Metal
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Roof Trim - Special Features: Cupola or Lantern
Roof Trim - Special Features: Balustrade
Roof Trim - Special Features: Finial
Roof Trim - Special Features: Monumental Pediment
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Semi-Circular
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Voussoirs
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Keystone
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Moulded
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Stone
Window - Sill Type: Continuous Sill
Window - Sill Material: Stone
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Flat Transom, Single Light
Window - Number of Sashes: One
Window - Opening Mechanism: Single or Double Hung
Window - Special Types: Round
Main Entrance - Location: 2 or More (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Semi-Circular
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Voussoir
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Keystone
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Moulded
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Stone
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Decorated
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Shaped Transom, Multiple Lights
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Decorated
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Carved or Decorated
Main Stairs - Location and Design: First or Ground Floor, Closed Railing
Main Stairs - Direction: Straight
Main Porch - Type: Open Porch
Main Porch - Special Features: Columns
Main Porch - Material: Stone
Main Porch - Height: Third Storey or Above
Exterior: The Beaux Arts style is evident in the design of our Legislature Building: the T-shaped floor plan; the building's columns; the dome rising above a spacious rotunda.
Granite was used to finish the exterior of the first storey; Paskapoo sandstone for the remaining four storeys.
The main entrance leads directly into the rotunda, which is encircled by marble columns. Its walls rise uninterrupted from the main floor to the vaulted dome, a distance of 55 metres (180 feet). The rotunda connects the east and west wings of the main floor to the great marble staircase that leads to the Assembly Chamber.
The Government spared no expense in obtaining materials of high quality and aesthetic beauty. The basement is faced in granite from Vancouver Island, and the upper storeys are faced in sandstone from the Glenbow quarry in Calgary. Inside, the rotunda is made of marble from Italy, Pennsylvania, and Quebec, and artisans were brought from Italy to lay the terrazzo floor.
The north front entrance to the Legislature Building features a wide flight of steps, a central projecting portico with six hand-carved Corinthian columns, and an entablature and pediment. The dome appears directly above the pediment. The entire building is in a T-shape plan with the bar of the 'T' containing the administrative offices of the ministers and civil servants. The type and style of this building is unique in Alberta and only one of three in Canada.
Interior: Interior walls are hollow terra cotta covered with plaster. The rest of the interior is finished in several kinds of marble in addition to mahogany and oak. Attractive features of the interior include hand-carved oak doors, stained glass windows, and brass fittings. The interior of the building features three kinds of marble. Green marble was used in the columns and the rotunda walls, light gray marble for the floors and staircase, and dark gray marble for the base of the walls and columns. The Chamber has its own dome and is lit by stained glass skylights and hundreds of light bulbs. Inside the rotunda are two bronze statues, one of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, after whom the province is named, and one of Chief Crowfoot, a Blackfoot Indian leader whose policy of cooperation led to the peaceful settlement of Alberta. Portraits of Premiers and Lieutenants Governor adorn the walls of the third floor, and you can view Alberta's Speakers one floor above. Decorative hardwood carvings include coats of arms above the main entrance to the Chamber, above the Speaker's Chair, and in the Carillon Room on the fifth floor. The carillon, located on the fifth floor, was installed in 1967 to commemorate Canada's Centennial. A carillon works much like a piano: when its keyboard is played, metal hammers strike finely tuned bells. The Legislature carillon has 391 such bells. The music is amplified electronically and is especially invigorating on a crisp winter's day.
Environment: Neighbourhood: Downtown Property Features: None 20 acres. Located on the north side of the North Saskatchewan River on the site of the Hudson Bay Company Fort Edmonton. Looks south over North Saskatchewan River Valley. Entrance on north elevation. During the 1970s the surrounding places were transformed and became a vast green landscape with fountains, walkways, and a reflecting pool and also the site of many historic occasions. Members of Britain's royal family have been received here, the Olympic torch relay paused on the building's front steps, and individual feats, such as Rick Hansen's Man in Motion World Tour, have been celebrated. The most prominent landmark on either side of the River Valley, the Legislature Building is symbolic of both the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta. The building is the axial focus of 108 Street, and extensive landscaping is presently underway to create an appropriate setting for it. Although the 97 Avenue tunnel detracts from the east and west views of the Legislature, the older lawn and gardens on the south side and the new landscaping on the north do and will provide the building with the environs it deserves.
Condition: N/A
Alterations: Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: None Site: Original Richard Blakey, provincial architect until 1923, added the dome-within-a-dome that you see when you look up from the rotunda. In 1932 palm seeds, a gift from the state of California, were planted in pots in the gallery ringing the interior dome these are now five large trees peering down at the rotunda's fountain. The fountain itself has come and gone more than once: the first fountain was constructed in 1939 and removed shortly thereafter while the present one was built in 1959. The mahogany panels that grace the walls of the Chamber were added in 1987, as was an elegant pale green carpet and new gallery seating.

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Ended
1913/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
Governmental: Legislative or Parliament Building

Owner: Owner Date:
N/A

Architect: Allan Merrick Jeffers
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: Building under A.M. Jeffers supervision until January 1912. Rotunda and main staircase designed by R.P. Blakey F.R.I.B.A. and the building completed under his supervision.

August 1907 - Construction began.
October 1, 1909 - cornerstone laid by Earl Grey.
November 30, 1911 - first session held.
September 3, 1912 - official opening performed by the Governor General of Canada, the Duke of Connaught.
Cost $2,000,000.

Earl Grey, Governor-General of Canada laid the cornerstone of the parliament Building in October 1909. Building went on until 1912 when the dome was completed. On September 3, 1912, the building was officially opened by Governor-General, the Duke of Connaught.

the City's first 5-hole golf course was on this location - Hardisty House was used as a Club House.

In Europe, the presence of a dome typically indicates that a building has religious significance, but in North America, domes are also commonly associated with seats of governmental power. Three of Canada's provincial Legislative Assemblies meet in buildings similar to the Alberta Legislature. Derived from design theories which originated at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, this type of Classical Revival Style architecture called for a symmetrical plan and formal classical elevations. A.M. Jeffers, the Provincial Architect who designed the Legislature, chose a 'T'-shaped plan, and devised a Beaux-Arts facade with a rusticated base, a formal entry with a columned portico, paired columns for the wings, and of course, a large dome with cupola. Calgary sandstone was used on the exterior, and the rotunda was finished in marble from Italy, Pennsylvania and Quebec.
It took about six years (1907-1913) and approximately $4 million to construct and furnish the Legislature Building.

***
The Legislature Building overlooks the North Saskatchewan River on the site of the last Fort Edmonton. It was constructed from 1907 to 1913 at a cost of five million dollars. After excavators discovered quicksand on the site, steel-reinforced concrete pilings were used as a foundation which has proven to be very stable.
The architect, Allan Merrick Jeffers, came to Alberta in 1907 and was hired as the Provincial architect with the Department of Public Works that year. He designed the Civic Block as Edmonton's City architect from 1912 to 1922.
The Legislature Building in Edmonton, like those in Regina and Winnipeg, exhibits qualities of the Late Victorian Beaux-Arts Style.
The Roman, Greek, and Egyptian elements are seen expressing the concept of 'Government'. The Beaux-Arts style was used for state capitals in the United States between 1890 and 1915. Jeffers, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, used the Rhode Island State Capitol in Providence as a model for the Alberta Legislative Building. The rotunda and staircase to the legislative chamber was designed by Richard Palin Blakey, the Provincial Architect from 1912 to 1913.

***
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ALBERTA

The Legislature Building

On March 15, 1906, Alberta's first Legislature opened its first session. The MLAs did not meet at the Legislature Building, though, because it did not yet exist. Instead, the opening ceremonies were held at Edmonton's Thistle Curling Rink just north of Jasper Avenue, after which the Assembly moved to nearby McKay Avenue school.

In these modest surroundings the members dealt with the first item of business for the new province: deciding on a capital city. Because Edmonton was the centre of Alberta's newly booming agricultural sector and also a Liberal stronghold, it won the honour.

Choosing a site for the building was easy. The high-cliffed bank of the North Saskatchewan River was both physically commanding and historically significant. Here was the site of Fort Edmonton, a major fur trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, around which the settlement of Edmonton had developed.

Alberta's Legislature Building was designed by the provincial architect, Allan Merrick Jeffers. He was a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States, and he was probably influenced by the state capitol building there, which was in the popular Beaux Arts style.
Materials suitable for the building's lofty design had to be imported.

Workers used granite brought in from Vancouver Island to finish the exterior of the first storey, and Paskapoo sandstone from the Glenbow quarry near Calgary for the remaining four storeys. The interior of building features three kind of marble. Green marble from Pennsylvania was used in the columns and the rotunda walls light gray marble quarried in Quebec for the floors and staircase, and dark gray marble from Italy for the base of the walls and columns.

Construction began in 1907, and in September of 1912 the Duke of Connaught, Canada's Governor General, declared the Legislature Building officially open. Its grandeur was obvious from the moment the front doors first opened. The main entrance leads directly into rotunda, which is encircled by marble columns. Its walls rise uninterrupted from the main floor to the vaulted dome, a distance of 55 metres (180 feet). The rotunda connects the east and west wings of the main floor to the great marble staircase that leads to the Assembly Chamber. The Chamber has its own dome and is lit by stained glass skylights and hundreds of light bulbs.

The Legislative Building has undergone many changes since its 1912 opening. Richard Blakey, provincial architect until 1923, added the dome-within-a-dome that you see when you look up from the rotunda. In 1932 palm seeds, a gift from the state of California, were planted in pots in the gallery ringing the interior dome. These are now five large trees peering down at the rotunda's fountain. The fountain itself has come and gone more than once: the first fountain was constructed in 1939 and removed shortly thereafter while the present one was built in 1959. The mahogany panels that grace the walls of the Chamber were added in 1987, as was an elegant pale green carpet and new gallery seating.

The building is also decorated with images of our history and political traditions. Inside the rotunda are two bronze statues, one of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, after whom the province is named, and one of Chief Crowfoot, a Blackfoot Indian leader whose policy of cooperation led to the peaceful settlement of Alberta. Portraits of Premiers and Lieutenants Governor adorn the walls of the third floor, and you can view Alberta's Speakers one floor above. Decorative hardwood carvings include coats of arms above the main entrance to the Chamber, above the Speaker's Chair, and in the Carillon Room on the fifth floor.
The Legislature Building belongs to all Albertans. It is here that the members elected by the people carry out the people's business.

Providing added charm is the clear, bell-like sound of carillon music that you sometimes hear outside the Legislature Building. The carillon, located on the fifth floor, was installed in 1967 to commemorate Canada's Centennial. A carillon works much like a piano: when its keyboard is played, metal hammers strike finely tuned bells.

The Legislature carillon has 391 such bells. The music is amplified electronically and is especially invigorating on a crisp winter's day.
Completed in 1983, the grounds have not only become a favourite summer park but also the site of many historic occasions. Members of Britain's royal family have been received here, the Olympic torch relay paused on the building's front steps, and individual feats, such as Rick Hansen's Man in Motion World Tour, have been celebrated.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
signed)

Designation Status: Designation Date:
Municipal A List

Register: A21
Record Information: Record Information Date:
S. Khanna 1992/11/23

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0069
Return to Search Results Printable Version



Freedom to Create. Spirit to Achieve.


Home    Contact Us    Login   Library Search

© 1995 - 2020 Government of Alberta    Copyright and Disclaimer    Privacy    Accessibility