The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

 

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Saskatchewan Legislative Building

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building and gardens.
Saskatchewan Archives Board 90-600-09

Located in the capital city of Regina, the Legislative Building houses the Legislative Assembly of the province of Saskatchewan; it is the largest capital building in Canada, and a symbol of British parliamentary democracy and provincial pride. The creation and passage of laws and other legislative responsibilities are carried out in the building’s Chamber and Executive Quarters. Less than a year after Saskatchewan became a province on September 1, 1905, planning for the proposed Legislative Building began with the selection of an appropriate site, followed by a competition for the building’s design. The architectural plans of Edward and W.S. Maxwell of Montreal were chosen on December 20, 1907. The Maxwell brothers designed the building’s floor plan in the shape of a Latin cross, with a monumental dome over the intersection of the major and minor axis. The façade and interior reflect the influence of the beaux-arts style, a popular architectural movement of that era.

Work on the Legislative Building’s foundation began on August 31, 1908. Although the original plans specified red brick for the exterior, Premier Walter Scott decided that Tyndall stone should be used instead; quarried from Manitoba, the cream-coloured limestone remains one of the most distinguishing features of the Legislative Building. Governor General Earl Grey laid the cornerstone on October 4, 1909, and the first session of the Legislative Assembly was held in the Chamber on January 25, 1912. Built at a cost of roughly $1.75 million, more than double the original estimate, Saskatchewan’s Legislative Building was officially opened by Governor General, the Duke of Connaught, on October 12, 1912. Since then, the grounds surrounding the building have developed into one of the largest urban parks in North America. A series of renovations were made to the building during the 1960s through to the 1980s. In 1997 a four-year restoration project repaired the Legislative Building’s structural deficiencies, and improved safety and accessibility.

Holden Stoffel

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Further Reading

Barnhart, G.L. 2002. Building for the Future: A Photo Journal of Saskatchewan’s Legislative Building. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center.
This web site was produced with financial assistance
provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
Ce site Web a été conçu grâce à l'aide financière de
Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada et le gouvernement de la Saskatchewan.