Alberta Legislature Building

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alberta Legislature Building
2011 Alberta Legislature Building 03.jpg
The Alberta Legislature Building
General information
Architectural style Beaux-Arts
Address 10800 97 Avenue NW
Town or city Edmonton, Alberta
Country Canada
Construction started 1907
Completed 1913
Cost $2 million CAD
Client Government of Alberta
Owner Government of Alberta
Technical details
Size 55 metres (180 ft)
Design and construction
Architect Allan Merrick Jeffers and Richard Blakey

The Alberta Legislature Building is located in Edmonton, Alberta, and is the meeting place of the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council. It is known to Edmontonians as "the Ledge".

Setting[edit]

The building is located on a promontory (overlooking the North Saskatchewan River valley to the south) which was once the location of Fort Edmonton, Mark V (1830–1915), a Hudson's Bay Company fur-trading post. It is just up the hill from the archaeological finds at Rossdale Flats to the east, which was long-standing First Nations campsite and earlier location of Fort Edmonton. The legistature's location was selected shortly after Edmonton was confirmed as the provincial capital by the first session of the Legislature in 1906.

The legislature building is located along where 97 Avenue would be located, but the road was routed through a tunnel during the 1970s renovations to the grounds, allowing a large plaza to connect the legislature to a greenspace to the north.

To the west of the building the grounds are bounded by 109 Street and the former rail right-of-way coming north from the High Level Bridge, now used the High Level Bridge Streetcar and a walking path, with Victoria Park and Golf Course and the Grandin neighbourhood beyond.

To the north lies the "Government Centre" district within Downtown Edmonton, south of Jasper Avenue, Edmonton's main street. Here are found several provincial government office buildings, and the Federal Public Building, As of 2012 being renovated as a new provincial office building and conference centre. A sort section of 107 Street, called "Capital Boulevard", is anchored by two terminating vistas, the legislature and MacEwan University's City Centre Campus. MacEwan is a part of the Old Canadian National rail yard redevelopment.

Immediately east is the Legislature Annex Building and the Government Centre transit centre, and beyond them the Rossdale neighbourhood and Telus Field.

History[edit]

The Alberta Legislature Building was built between 1907 and 1913 in the Beaux Arts style at the same time as the much larger Saskatchewan and Manitoba legislative buildings by architects Allan Merrick Jeffers and Richard Blakey. Montreal architect Percy Nobbs helped with the final revisions.[1] Allan Merrick Jeffers served as the Alberta Provincial Architect from September 1907 to 1910. The Alberta Archives hold drawings for virtually all provincial buildings executed under his supervision.[2]

Jeffers may have been influenced by the State House of Rhode Island, where he had been a student. The style was associated originally with the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was fashionable in North America between 1895 and 1920.

The use of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian architectural influences was considered appropriate for a public building, as they suggested power, permanence, and tradition. Beaux-Arts buildings are characterized by a large central dome above a spacious rotunda, a symmetrical T-shaped plan, doors and windows decorated with arches or lintels, and a portico supported by massive columns. The dome has terracotta made by Gibbs and Canning of Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK.

The building is supported on concrete piles and constructed around a steel skeleton. The first floor is faced with Vancouver Island granite; upper floors feature sandstone from the Glenbow Quarry in Calgary. The interior fittings include imported marble, mahogany, oak, and brass.

The building is 55 metres (180 ft) long; the project cost over $2 million at the time.[3]

Other[edit]

The Alberta Legislature Building is located at 10801 97 Avenue NW, Edmonton. Free tours of the facility are offered throughout the week. The building is also connected via underground walkway to the Grandin/Government Centre LRT station.

Statues and memorials at the Legislative Buildings and grounds[edit]

The fountain inside the Legislature Building was installed during 1959 to commemorate the first visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the building.[4] Also, for the province's centennial, the Queen unveiled in the same structure a series of stained glass windows that highlight the role of the monarchy in Alberta over the previous century. The centre window, at the front entrance of the building, focuses on the reign of Elizabeth II, including her royal cypher surmounted by St. Edward's Crown and flanked by wild roses, while the other windows commemorate the reign of George VI, Edward VIII, George V, and Edward VII, along with provincial emblems such as the coat of arms and the Alberta rose.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Percy Erskine Nobbs Biography". McGill University John Bland Architecture Collection - The Architecture of Percy Erskine Nobbs. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  2. ^ http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/appendix_a Dictionary of Architects in Canada
  3. ^ [1], The 75th Anniversary of Alberta's Legislative Building.
  4. ^ Jackson, Michael D. (2005). "The Queen of Canada in Alberta". Canadian Monarchist News (Toronto: Monarchist League of Canada). Fall-Winter 2005 (24): 14. Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  5. ^ "Unveiling offers window of opportunity for Royal watchers" (Press release). Queen's Printer for Alberta. 12 May 2005. Retrieved 28 June 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°32′01″N 113°30′24″W / 53.533714°N 113.506531°W / 53.533714; -113.506531