May 17, 2016

Curtain Drops, Legislative Dome Takes Spotlight

The Regina cityscape took on a more reflective appearance, following the unveiling of the restored dome of the Saskatchewan Legislative building.

The white vinyl covering in place during the rehabilitation of this historic landmark was dropped at a public unveiling ceremony this evening, followed by lighting up the copper dome.

As a result of Government of Saskatchewan’s investment in the dome restoration project, the dome is now outfitted in reflective, new copper.  Work included repairs and replacement of the dome’s limestone, mortar and water management system.

“Our magnificent Legislative Building is a source of great pride for the people of Saskatchewan,” Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield said.  “I am grateful to the Government of Saskatchewan for choosing to restore and preserve it for generations to come.”

The Legislative building’s dome suffered extensive damage in its century-plus existence, due to water leaks, ice damming and drastic changes in temperature.  Restoration of the dome was needed to preserve the building and ensure its structural safety, to continue to operate as the seat of government in the province.

“This restoration project honours the legacy of Saskatchewan’s first premier, Walter Scott, and all those who worked with him to lay the foundation of modern Saskatchewan,” Premier Brad Wall said.  “Premier Scott insisted that Saskatchewan should have a legislature that represented the character and ambition of its people.  The dome shone brightly when the building opened in 1912, a symbol of the optimism, hope and high expectations that animated Saskatchewan in the early days.  Today, the dome shines again, in a province where the future shines as brightly as it did a century ago, as brightly as it ever has.”

The shiny, new appearance of the dome is temporary, and will not last into the future.  Over several months, the copper will oxidize, changing to brown and black, returning to its pre-restoration appearance.

While the project is substantially complete, some finishing touches will be made as the approximately 175,000-pound steel scaffolding built around the dome comes down.  These touches cannot take place until the scaffolding is removed.

“We were honoured to lead this important project,” PCL District Manager Sean Hamelin said. “Contributing to the restoration of this beautiful, emblematic building is truly special.”

The restoration of this historic structure, which began in November 2013, preserved its unique decorative features, including its ornate stone and copper elements.  It was carried out in compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada and The Heritage Property Act.

The total cost of the restoration project was $21 million.