For the first time in two years, the dome of the Legislative Building is exposed.
Hundreds of people turned out Monday night to see the big reveal after $21 million worth of restorative work was completed.
“Tonight we build on the legacy of our first premier, Walter Scott. Tonight, the dome shines again,” remarked Premier Brad Wall just seconds before he gave the crane operator the go ahead to remove the front panels of the structure.
Aided with dramatic music, unveiled was a shiny, copper dome which prompted applause from those in attendance.
“It looks like a modern museum to me, which is great,” commented one woman.
“The whole building is just too beautiful to describe. It’s just a magnificent building,” said another woman.
Some were expecting more out of the reveal. They thought the entire white box some refer to as the “refrigerator” would have been lifted off or torn away panel by panel. Others were surprised the scaffolding remained.
“I’m disappointed in the unveiling. [I expected] a little more pizzazz,” said this man. “It wasn’t what I expected as far as the revealing. It is very hard to see.”
But others understand this is only the beginning of something that will likely light up Regina for the next several months before the bright copper returns to its normal colour.
“It’s a nice reveal. It kind of gives you like the sneak peak, so it kind of tantalizes you to see what else is going to come,” said this woman.
Two years of work
The restoration of the stone included replacing unusable stone, cleaning the existing structure, rebuilding and cleaning the existing stone and repairs.
Approximately 7,000 stone repairs were conducted on 2,700 blocks, with 10,000 kilograms of new stone installed. Four stonemasons were brought in from England to help complete the work.
The legislative building did not have an eavestrough system so the rain water soaked into the porous Tyndall stone which led to its deterioration. Thirteen-thousand kilograms of lead was used to protect that stone for future years.
As for the now shiny look, more than 13,000 kg of new copper was installed in three different thicknesses.
As well 44 pieces of decorative copper were repaired or replaced, a total of 43 specialized roofers and copper restorations experts worked on the copper repairs.
The PCL Construction crew used many of the same types of tools during the restoration as were used during the original construction.
Jerrod Keuler with PCL says the entire crew is in awe of the men that built it.
“Definitely we have a great appreciation for what they did 100 years ago,” he said.