2008-08-31

MTM: A little history

I must apologize right off the top here, I am re-using most of a previous post. We didn't go anywhere this weekend and my planned post isn't going to materialize just yet. I confess that I am not a writer (as though you hadn't noticed), nor do I play one on TV.

I originally posted this in May of this year shortly after I got my new camera. I was so excited with it, I had to show off. I was not confident enough in my abilities to produce a MTM post though. For those of you that have already seen these photos, thank you for your patience.

For those that are interested my original posts can be seen here, here and here. I am going to try to make this a bit different, so I don't bore everyone to tears.

Alberta became a Province on September 1st, 1905, when we split from the Northwest Territories and became the 8th Province in Canada. Prior to being the Northwest Territories, we were part of Rupert's Land, which was then set up as a monopoly on the fur trade for Hudson's Bay Company making them the de facto owners from 1670 to 1869, when they sold the land to the newly formed Government of Canada. Due to setbacks, the Government didn't take control until July of 1870.

In total there have been five sites called Fort Edmonton (beginning in 1795) that were set up by the Hudson's Bay Company. The fifth and final Fort was set up where the Alberta Legislature now stands, having had to move uphill from the flats by the river due to flooding. From Wikipedia:

What remained of the fort was dismantled in 1915. It was seen as a crumbling eyesore next to the Alberta Legislature Building, which had been completed three years earlier.[19] The Government of Alberta indicated at the time that it would use the old fort's timbers to create a heritage site elsewhere in the city, but it never did.

It was in fact rebuilt, but not until 1969 and on the other side of the river. I will do an in depth MTM post on Fort Edmonton Park at a later date.


Construction began on our Legislature building in 1907 and by November 30th of 1911 was complete enough to have the first assembly held there. The official opening didn't take place until September 3rd of 1912.

For those interested, this link has all sorts of info and on the left of the page a link to a virtual tour of the Legislature. From a pamphlet for visitors:

Alberta’s Legislature Building was designed by provincial architect Allan
Merrick Jeffers, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in the
United States. Richard P. Blakey, Jeffers’ successor, also contributed to the
design of the rotunda and the main staircase leading up to the Chamber.
Jeffers was probably influenced in his design by the state capitol building in
Rhode Island, which was in the popular beaux arts style. This style is evident
in the main entrance, or portico, of Alberta’s Legislature Building, which is
characterized by massive columns and a dome rising above a spacious
rotunda. The symmetric design and layout are also elements of this style.

Click to enlarge

Above: North side of the Legislature at the Grand Entrance. The pools and fountains were added in the 1970's. Many Statues and Memorials adore the grounds around the building.




Above: The west entrance is often used by wedding parties for photographs.


Above: The South entrance, with the eternal flame that was placed for Canada's centennial.


Above: The West Entrance, also used for Wedding photographs.


Back to the North (front) as seen over the reflecting pool.


If you are still reading, thank you! If you would like to read about other places from the My Town Monday posts, visit Travis Erwin, the genius who started it all.

Have a good day all.

14 comments:

Robyn said...

Come by and check out what is happening at my place! And pass it on!

Hilary said...

Still wonderful.. the second time around.

Leah J. Utas said...

The legislature lends itself to photos, and you did a good job.
It's good to read the info again and remember.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Love the pictures and the history--it really makes me want to visit sometime!

Reb said...

Thanks Robyn.

Hilary, thanks.

Leah, it is a beautiful building. Thanks.

Thanks Crabby. Your welcome to come on up anytime.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Why don't we build like that anymore. All of our efforts go on the inside now.

Barrie said...

Great post. Nothing beats some nice photos and a little history. And I will make it to Edmonton one of these days. I've been wanting to visit Alberta for years.

Reb said...

Patti, that's for sure. One of these days, I may even go in there and take some photos.

Barrie, thanks. I'm kind of partial to AB myself, but it is beautiful here.

gary rith said...

boy, thanks for the story!

Barbara Martin said...

Still wonderful, and actually much better than when I left Edmonton to move east. I don't recall the reflecting pool, so that's a nice touch.

Travis Erwin said...

I'm ashamed to say it but before MTM I knew next to nothing of Canadian history but I've learned a ton over the last few months.

Reb said...

Thanks Gary.

Barbara, they are very beautiful, but there was the typical controversy over spending the money.

Travis, nothing to be ashamed of. We are a quiet neighbour after all!

debra said...

What a beautiful place! I love reading about the history of places other people call home. Thanks, Reb.

Reb said...

Thanks Debra, it was interesting to research it too.