The legislative buildings are the defining structures of democracy in Canada’s provincial capital cities. Aside from being the focal point for government, they’re also a tremendous source of history and civic pride for the cities in which they reside. However, many legislative buildings are more than one hundred years old.
Copper shell repairs.
Tyndall Stone on the exterior wall
marked for repair or replacement.
The dome was enclosed to maintain temperature
which allows proper curing of stone repair material.
Time for a Facelift
Saskatchewan’s historic legislative building in Regina will turn 103 years old in 2015, and time has taken a toll on the iconic structure, especially its once lustrous copper dome. The job of restoring the building to its former glory fell to PCL’s Regina district. However, as project manager Jerrod Keuler points out, the project is not just a job but a privilege.
“For those of us working on the dome, it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Keuler. “We’ve removed some of the copper to get a better understanding of the conditions that are underneath, and there’s some water damage to the layers below.”
Most of the original 1912 framing and materials remain on the legislature, and the goal is to sustain the classic look of the building. The structure has shifted during its 100-plus years in Regina, and work needed to be done before something drastic happened. “Smaller chunks were falling off which were getting bigger; they weren’t landing on the ground, but they were hitting the parapets on the roof,” said Keuler. Some of the crumbling Tyndall stone blocks on the building’s exterior will also need to be replaced.
Keeping the Dome Under Wraps
Keuler notes that wrapping the dome in a white sheath isn’t the most picturesque of sceneries, but protecting both employees and the exterior worksite throughout the harsh prairie winter is key to finishing the project on schedule. “We’re maintaining this historical building in a state that’s safe, and it’ll stay here to view for another 100 years.”
Construction services have been under way on the project since late 2013, and residents will be able to see the restored legislative building’s exterior in its entirety by the spring of 2016.