Manitoba Legislative Building
|Manitoba Legislative Building|
|Town or city||Winnipeg , Manitoba|
|Opened||15 July 1920|
|Cost||C$8,075,865 (1921 est.) |
|Height||242 feet (74 m)|
|Floor area||250,000 ft 2|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Frank Worthington Simon & Henry Boddington III|
Manitoba's Legislative Assembly uses the current building as its third location.
A log structure at A.G.B. was the first. Bannatyne Main Street and Mc. Dermot Avenue, until it was destroyed by fire in 1873.
Temporary accommodations were available until 1884. The second building north of Government House was built on the grounds that are now the Legislative building. The third Legislative Building was completed, and the second structure became unnecessary. The second building was used until 1920 as classroom space at the University of Manitoba. It was then demolished.
A statue of Queen Victoria was placed on the same site as this building. It was purchased for C$15,000. (This statue would be moved to the front of the current building's grounds.) Manitoba wanted a bigger and more striking building to house its legislature in 1909. This was due to the growing economy of Manitoba and its sevenfold increase in population since 1881. In its 1911 annual report, the Department of Public Works said that the "congested state of all the Departments in the Legislative Buildings renders necessary the erection of more commodious buildings at the earliest possible date." Manitoba announced a contest for architectural talent in 1911 to any British Empire subject architects. The grand prize was C$10,000, and the winner would receive a $100,000 commission.
It was estimated that the building would cost $2,000,000. Frank Worthington Simon, a former student of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, was selected to design the structure.
A plaque on one of the many buildings, commemorating Manitoba’s admission into confederation in 1974, vanished.
In June 1994, work began on repairing the steps at all four entrances of the building. On 4 October 1995, Governor General Romeo Le. The Manitoba Plaza was officially inaugurated by Governor General Romeo Le on the South Grounds of the Building. This commemorates the 125th Anniversary of the Province. The Legislative Building has been used numerous times for film and TV productions including The Diviners (1993), in 1990, and Capote (2004) in 2004. In addition to being used for library functions, the Reading Room was also used as a legal office and courtroom. This Reading Room housed the recording of 2003 Governor General’s New Year’s Message.
In 2002 the outer dome of the building received new copper sheathing. 2014 was the year that the local government highlighted the dangers of the building's deterioration. Building longevity is threatened by tree roots, birds and insects.
The current cost of reconstruction is too high due to a shortage in skilled masons. Also, both exterior and interior skylights on the Grand Staircase had been replaced in 2012. The Legislative Building opened a Military Hall of Honour in March 2015. It is dedicated to the Manitoba Regiments that participated in World War I.
Construction began in 2016 for the first building-wide gender-neutral toilet (2nd floor, west).
In November 2007, Manitoba became the first legislature in the country to install an accessibility ramp at its front entrance. Rick Hansen was the chief executive officer of Rick Hansen Institute. He criticized its accessibility in May 2017. This came after Independent MA Steven Fletcher gave Rick Hansen a tour.
It was then made wheelchair accessible. The chamber's floor was raised to 2.49m (3.76 ft) and front-row desks were relocated forward so wheelchair accessibility between the first two rows was possible. Also, an access ramp was built on the other side of the house. In 2018, Heritage Winnipeg awarded the renovation a Conservation Award.
On the north side of the Legislative Building, above the 6 Ionic columns , is the main pediment , the figures of which were designed by Scottish sculptor Albert Hemstock Hodge and carved by the Piccirilli Brothers of New York.
Between the main pedestal and both sides, there are two Egyptian Sphinxes orientated east-west.
The Sun God Ra is the Good God Who Gives Life, and this carving was made onto a slab of stone just below the chin. Frank Worthington Simon described this central figure as an image of Manitoba.
Enterprise is in the left-hand corner. It invites people to enter the Land of Promise. Europe's bull leads the charge. In the right hand corner, a group of mother, father and child are positioned next to it, which symbolizes immigration from Europe. Right hand corner: Two men clasp a jar and embrace it, releasing water. This is the Red Assiniboine Rivers combining to fertilize the Earth. Next, a farmer with his horse is plowing the ground, while male and feminine figures are bringing the harvests of the Manitoba soil.
The Indolent Man can be seen in the corner bottom left of the pediment with a half-kneeling lady, representing the spirit that encourages progress.
Next is the goddess Europa leading a bull, symbolizing Canada's European heritage and immigration.
Europa's right is represented by a man, woman, and child who symbolise the colonization in a new country.
Lieutenant-Governor'S Reception Room
">Manitoba Legislative Building is the Lieutenant-Governor's Reception Room, used by the province's Lieutenant-Governor on state occasions to receive visiting royalty and foreign dignitaries (general public is barred from entry). On either side of this door, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in scarlet are stationed. Military aides support the Lieutenant-Governor during official functions.
Measurements of 7.3 metres in height (24 feet in either direction), the room has a panelled ceiling made from American walnut, inlaid in ebony, and decorative hand-carved ornaments on the ceiling. A French gilt chandelier hangs from its ceiling and pictures of sovereigns are displayed on the walls. Carpet hand-woven in Donegal is the centerpiece of this floor. Facing across from each other on the north and south wall are two elaborate mirrors in gilt frames. Directly above the room are the two male warriors (War): one native in full eagle feathered headdress, and one Roman, guarding the representation of the Ark of the Covenant The room's Prince of Wales Chair is reserved for visiting royalty.
The second floor, on the southwest side of this building houses portraits by former Speakers (of Legislative Assembly & Legislative Council), which were customarily taken upon retiring. Photographs of Manitoba Premiers can be found on the second floor of the Northeast Wing, and painted portraits of Premiers can be found in the South Side Committee Rooms.
The east-side hallway leads to the second level, where you will find the names of the recipients of Order of Manitoba. Both the original Manitoba mace and the replacement are symbols for the Legislature's power. They were in service for 13 of the Assembly's first thirteen years. Two maces of Manitoba were made permanent in September 2019 and placed in a cabinet located on the second story.
For special events, the Manitoba Room (Room 209; also called "The Chandelier Room") is available. V.A. Painted portraits, King George V. and Queen Mary. Long (1915), can be found at one end of the space. Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II Prince Philip, by Dennis Fildes (1962), are displayed on the walls adjacent.
Room 260 of the Manitoba Legislative Library has three levels with book stacks. This room can house 25,000 volumes. You can access the upper levels via two spiral staircases and/or the original elevator.
The Trailblazers Gallery, second floor west side was inaugurated on 21 August 2018. It honors 18 women who served in traditionally male positions and have worked hard to make Manitoba a better place for women.
Albo Frank (April 2007). The Hermetic Code. Winnipeg Free Press
Marilyn Baker (1986). Manitoba's Third Legislative Building Symbol in Stone Symbol in Stone Symbol in Stone – The Art and Politics a Public Building Hyperion Press Winnipeg.
Historic Resources Branch
Manitoba Legislative Building Designation Date: May 12, 1989 Designation Authority: Honourable Bonnie Mitchelson, Minister of Culture, Heritage and Recreation Present Owner: The Province of Manitoba The Legislative Building was formally opened on July 15, 1920, the 50th anniversary of Manitoba's entry into Confederation. Henry Boddington III and Frank W. Simon, English architects, designed it in 1912. They won the British Empire Competition over 66 others. The most important example of Beaux-Arts Classical Architecture in Manitoba, this building is made of Manitoba Tyndall limestone. It is symbol of Manitoba's perpetual youth and advancement.
The third Legislative Building in Manitoba was constructed after an extraordinary period of growth and development. This was where the A.G.B. housed the original Legislature. Bannatyne, who lived on Main Street and Mc. From its demolition by fire in 1873, Dermot Avenue. Temporary facilities were used until 1884 when the second building was opened north of Government House. In 1920, it was destroyed.
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Photos & Coordinates
Cartography of grounds surrounding the Legislative Building. This shows where the second Legislative Building stood from 1884 to 1920.
Source: Manitoba Legislative Building Winnipeg (Manitoba), [undated pamphlet].
Eastern side of the second Legislative Building (no date)
Eastern side of the second Legislative Building (no date)
Source: The Nor-West Farmer and Manitoba Miller, Volume 6, Number 9, September 1887
G. A. Barrowclough, Eastern Side of the Second Legislative Building.